Police Minister Paul Holloway has been embarrassed in Parliament today when he was unable to explain clearly the Rann Government’s policy on directing the Police Commissioner where additional police resources are provided by taxpayers, according to Shadow Police Minister Rob Lucas.
“Minister Holloway was unable to explain why it was acceptable for the Rann Government to direct the Police Commissioner about the location of new police stations but not acceptable to require some of the extra 400 police to be employed in extra patrols in Hindley Street on Friday and Saturday nights,” Mr Lucas said today.
“The Rann Government’s Law and Order Policy released in February promised to build new police shopfronts in the then marginal Liberal electorates of Light, Bright and Hartley.
“However, in 2004 when the Government was being criticised about delays in the building of the Golden Grove police station, former Police Minister Foley attacked the Liberal Party for what he claimed would be interfering improperly in the day-to-day management of the Police Department.
“For example, on 10 November 2004, Police Minister Foley told Parliament:
“When it comes to deciding where police stations should be built, my view is that we should rely on the advice of the police commissioner.”
“When asked in Parliament today whether the Police Commissioner had recommended before the election to build new police stations in the then marginal Liberal electorates of Light, Bright and Hartley there was an embarrassed silence from Minister Holloway.
“The Liberal Party’s position is that if it is possible to tell the Police Commissioner to build police stations in marginal electorates then it is certainly possible to require some of the extra 400 police to be used in extra foot patrols in Hindley Street on Friday and Saturday nights.
“In fact, under former Liberal Premier Olsen and Police Minister Brokenshire there is already a precedent for Government priorities being met when taxpayers provided the Police Commissioner with extra police numbers. And there was no outcry at the time or claims that the Police Act had been breached.
“The Liberal Party accepts that the Police Act 1998 places clear restrictions and guidelines on Police Ministers interfering in the day-to-day management of police operations.
“The Rann Government and the Police Minister no longer have any excuse for not ensuring that some of the extra 400 police should be employed on extra foot patrols in Hindley Street on Friday and Saturday nights.”