Call for new police stations in Weston/Molonglo and Kippax

Ian Bushnell 24 June 2020 31
Police car in traffic

West Belconnen and Weston Creek/Molonglo residents want to see more police on their streets. Photo: File.

Two of Canberra’s fastest-growing areas need a greater police presence including their own stations to combat rising levels of crime, a Legislative Assembly committee has been told.

Both the Weston Creek and Belconnen Community Councils have told the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety in its Evaluation of Current ACT Policing Arrangements that police were taking too long to respond to reports of criminal activity and population growth warranted new police stations in Weston or Molonglo, and Kippax.

Both were concerned that police numbers were not keeping up with population growth and required a permanent presence.

Weston Creek Community Council chair Tom Anderson said his community relied on the Woden Police Station, which at any one time is staffed by only six officers, a sergeant and two administration staff.

”That’s not a lot [of staff] to cover the Woden Valley, Weston Creek and Molonglo,” he said, saying residents were more likely to see Protection Officers than actual police.

Mr Anderson said community feedback had been that police response times were slow.

“It seems to take forever to get police there,” Mr Anderson said.

He told the committee that crimes such as burglaries, theft, including vehicle number plates, property damage and dangerous driving were on the rise across Weston Creek and the new suburbs of Molonglo.

‘Hooning’, in particular, was becoming more prevalent. The WCC says in its submission that complaints about dangerous driving are growing and some recent high-speed injury crashes could have been avoided with a greater visible policing presence to deter such behaviour.

Mr Anderson said many crimes were going unreported, particularly complaints from migrants or people with little English.

Many residents were happy to post their concerns on social media but not tell police, something the council was trying to change.

Mr Anderson said the council was urging people to report all incidents so police had an accurate idea of how much crime is happening in the district.

”We are trying to encourage people to report crime to the police,” Mr Anderson said. ”Every crime is reportable because we need to provide police with a base [level of demand in the region].”

He said the 69 extra police promised last budget over four years would not keep pace with the ACT’s population growth.

”We need the extra police now,” he said.

Belconnen Community Council chair Glen Hyde told the committee that a new station at Kippax, if only as a shopfront at first, was a no-brainer.

He said response times were an issue, as was police numbers.

”Belconnen has grown in a proportionate rate compared to the rest of Canberra and our policing profile hasn’t always done so,” he said.

The BCC says in its submission that Belconnen will soon have 110,000 residents and that visitors to work or play boost that to more than 150,000.

”As our transport and urban infrastructure grows, so too should our community protection and safety infrastructure grow and improve.”

It says that as the Kippax centre expands, the BCC expects extra police resources to ”enhance protection of the community and act as a direct deterrent to criminal activity”.

”Currently, response times to West Macgregor and Ginninderry under normal conditions are in excess of 10 minutes, but under emergency response protocols that time drops under 10 minutes,” the BCC says.

”We believe that a presence at Kippax would greatly reduce response times to any area west of Kingsford Smith Drive to less than half the time taken from the Winchester precinct.”


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31 Responses to Call for new police stations in Weston/Molonglo and Kippax
O L O L 1:12 pm 28 Jun 20

Seems that every time the police get more money it doesn’t equate to more police presence. Is it sucked up in admin costs?

    JC JC 5:48 am 29 Jun 20

    Don’t know who it would considering policing in the ACT is on a contract basis.

Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 10:53 am 28 Jun 20

This Government has been harvesting the development proceeds without providing the essential services for too long. This is but another example. As Mr Anderson says, the police are very polite and helpful when they eventually arrive; my understanding is they often have travelled, say, from their previous task in Fyshwick to attend an assault that was in progress in Rivett or Coombs when the victim called!

The John Gorton Drive races only occur because there is little fear of apprehension. Setting up the traffic branch in Coombs or Weston Creek would probably be self funding. The former Beyond Q building is empty, and the Coombs shops are empty except for that much loved Indian Grocery.

Howie Grace Howie Grace 10:31 am 28 Jun 20

Seeing police around in Canberra is rare, and that's not a good thing. In the Belconnen Town Centre there is a police station, but burglary, vandalism and hooning occurs commonly in a 2km vicinity of the station. It's as if offenders are making mockery of the law. Speeding, tailgating and littering on the roads is not well deterred. Before we get concerned about a police state lets first try and manage lawlessness a bit better. Particularly as Canberra is a growing city. Not sure about extra police stations, and I definitely don't think we want a police state, but an increase in a well trained patrolling police presence, more police community engagement, faster police response times, as well as improved street lighting and well placed camera surveillance would help bring crime in Canberra under better control.

Acton Acton 12:12 am 27 Jun 20

Rather than police to catch crooks the Labor/Greens ACT govt is putting up security cameras in residential areas to keep watch on the proletariat.

Christopher Cuba Rabanal Christopher Cuba Rabanal 9:28 pm 26 Jun 20

Fantastic idea those areas are under funded. When it comes to policing.

And make sure those police officers are trained in been nice and respectful to others community they protect and serve.

That means no illegal parking while they are buying groceries.

No using their mobile phones while driving police cars.

Just be examples to the community.

Boris Wilter Boris Wilter 7:51 pm 26 Jun 20

Aaron Johnson your bloody tavern has much to answer

    Aaron Johnson Aaron Johnson 9:54 pm 26 Jun 20

    Boris Wilter I’ve walked the parades of Kippax for years and I’m still here to tell the tale.

    You tell those rozzers to head south where all the trouble is.

JC JC 7:40 pm 26 Jun 20

I just laughed at the comment about a station in Kippax reducing response time. Do these people think that the coppers sit around in a station all day waiting for a callout they need to respond to?

If lack of police is an issue it is better they are out on patrol rather than sitting at Kippax. All the station is for is for admin and processing.

Christine Jones Christine Jones 2:52 pm 26 Jun 20

Because there is still only one police person at work at any given time of the day.

Stephen Roberts Stephen Roberts 2:17 pm 26 Jun 20

HALLELUJAH! Blind Freddie stuff

Vindalu Vindalu 10:44 am 26 Jun 20

The biggest problem in West Belconnen is irresponsible drivers in hoon cars. They’re all still showing mummy how their car can make loud brrrrm brrrrms. We probably don’t need a police station for that.

Anna Kay Anna Kay 10:27 pm 25 Jun 20

But one station for 100k in Gungahlin, the fastest growing district...

Matilda Sanchez Matilda Sanchez 10:22 pm 25 Jun 20

Please hurry up and do it especially the Weston area

Tim Hollo Tim Hollo 10:03 pm 25 Jun 20

Interesting timing since around the world the conversation is moving towards investing in communities instead of police.

Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 7:55 pm 25 Jun 20

Do we need more police, or do we need to look at solving problems? Good social design is a much better way to spend our money.

Heavs Heavs 7:34 pm 25 Jun 20

I don’t understand this. Why would you want a bricks and mortar station? The number of ‘walk-ins’ to police stations is often less than one person per day. Why not spend money on more cars on the road and officers on the best so they can actually respond quicker?

Hamish Sinclair Hamish Sinclair 6:47 pm 25 Jun 20

a police car on every street , just like fire engines when there is a bushfire? ffs get over yourselves, cbr is tiny and doesn't need a police state.

Gregg Heldon Gregg Heldon 4:42 pm 25 Jun 20

As population and valleys grow, so do the need for police, fire, and ambulance. With Ginninderry opening up, a station at Kippax is sensible as is one in Molonglo. Using the unused Coombs shops is a good idea too. But Lanyon could do with one, with the Rural Patrols operating out of there too.

Oreste Biziak Oreste Biziak 4:08 pm 25 Jun 20

There is a definite need for more police in Weston Creek and the Molonglo area. The incidence of ‘hooning and burnouts along Eucumbene Drive, the western end of Hindmarsh Drive and Namitjura Drive now appear to be a weekly occurrence. It’s only a matter of time before one of these hoons kills somebody.

Steve Talsma Steve Talsma 3:16 pm 25 Jun 20

Nyssa Sugarmen needed for a long time haha

    Nyssa Sugarmen Nyssa Sugarmen 5:38 pm 25 Jun 20

    Steve Talsma maybe the naughty scooter gang school kids will find a new center to steal from.

David Pollard - Independent for Yerrabi 2020 David Pollard - Independent for Yerrabi 2020 11:42 am 25 Jun 20

I’m campaigning for adequate resources for Police, including a new police station in Gungahlin. The population has far outgrown the station we have that was designed as a part time facility, and is shared with other emergency services.

    TatStan Rodoney TatStan Rodoney 7:44 pm 25 Jun 20

    David Pollard - Independent for Yerrabi 2020 I would say we learn from the responses internationally that social workers respond rather than strictly ramping up. We need to solve the social problems rather than strictly criminal convictions.

    Steve Wood Steve Wood 12:31 am 26 Jun 20

    David Pollard - Independent for Yerrabi 2020 can you get the the govenrment to out the speed limit back to 80 on Gundaroo Dr near the Barton Why and fox the bloody cracks that are already appearing...

    Darron Marks Darron Marks 2:38 pm 26 Jun 20

    Gungahlin police station isn't fit for the officers who currently reside in the station.

    I don't disagree with the needs of other suburbs. But we need to fix the current station issues before we start building new one's.

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