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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 7919

Mr IRONS (12:51 PM) —I hope the member for Wakefield enjoys the member for North Sydney’s wine, and I am sure he will give us some feedback on that. This afternoon, I wish to raise in the parliament the recent crime wave that has hit my electorate of Swan. It is one of the sad contradictions of life that criminals choose to target areas in which people who can least afford to lose their possessions live. This has been the case in my electorate, with the areas of Belmont, Rivervale, East Victoria Park, Manning and St James being particularly affected. Over the last few months I have noticed a steady increase in such calls to my office from people in these suburbs, and I suspect that crime figures have increased.

David Glossop of East Victoria Park wrote to me.

Last week an 80-year-old man had his house broken into at 2am. Gary on the corner ... had his house broken into and had things stolen.... The deli on the corner of Devenish and Westminster has been broken into many times, costing thousands of dollars for repair.

I have had my own vehicle broken into twice costing me $1000’s in repairs and so far one trespasser has been caught on my property. The local community has had enough.

In a recent phone chat that I had with a Cloverdale constituent, she told me about her experience of her place being broken into. Others have been reporting burglaries, graffiti and general antisocial behaviour. No-one should have to put up with this.

Sadly, the crimes appear to be getting more violent. Two recent incidents have been of particular concern. In Rivervale, a son managed to defend his mother against a violent attempt to break into the family home. A day later, Helen, a blind woman, was cowardly bashed by criminals while she was standing on her own property, waiting for a friend to pick her up. One thug pushed her to the ground and another punched her in the stomach as they snatched her bag. Speaking to the West Australian, Helen said:

I just want to warn people when they’re out in the street, even if you are not ill, even if you’re not blind, don’t take it for granted that people coming towards, or behind you, are safe to deal with.

I can think of few lower or more cowardly acts of crime.

Mr Deputy Speaker, I am sure you will agree that something must be done to reverse these worrying trends. The WA police and local government offer a range of good initiatives aimed at helping the community combat preventable crime. I have prepared a pack with information on some of these programs, which I will distribute to residents across the electorate. However, I want to take this opportunity to briefly mention some of these programs today. The City of Belmont offers a free security appraisal of premises and the city is also about to roll out its excellent CCTV Alarm Assist initiatives.

For more information on these initiatives, residents can call the City of Belmont or my office. I could go on and speak more about the programs that are in the pack, but due to the time limit I would just like to say that, as parliamentarians, we should maintain the pressure on crime and also maintain its public profile within our electorates to make sure that people are aware that it is still around and that it is causing many sad moments in the lives of people in our electorates.