Member for North West Central Merome Beard has described her experience of life in a community gripped by out-of-control crime and anti-social behaviour, during Parliament this week.
Ms Beard spoke to the Opposition’s Matter of Public Importance this week and underlined the need for a late-night service to ensure the safety of vulnerable children.
“Regional West Australians are suffering from the effects of a law-and-order crisis and are crying out for their concerns to be taken seriously by this McGowan Labor Government,” Ms Beard.
“It’s easy for Government Ministers to dismiss community concerns when they’re not the ones barricading their front door each night to stop the next break in,” Ms Beard said.
“This situation has sadly become normalised for locals in my electorate but it is wearing thin on many, with families who are connected and invested to Carnarvon starting to leave.
“Unfortunately, this out-of-control crime is not unique to Carnarvon, it’s impacting the entire region.
Ms Beard said while local police perform admirably in difficult circumstances, they are hamstrung by a lack of overnight safe spaces for children who aren’t safe at home.
“Kids are walking the streets at night and in the early hours of the morning because many simply don’t feel safe in their own homes and there isn’t anywhere else for them to go,” Ms Beard said.
“At home or on the street, there is nowhere they can get some food to eat, water to drink, and somewhere to safely sleep until the morning.
“Policing is only part of what is needed to achieve real solutions and unless we can provide a safe space for vulnerable children to stay during the night, the job for police will not get easier.
“I can’t speak highly enough of local police officers who patrol the streets every night and I want them to have confidence that they are supported to keep our streets, and our children, safe.
“The Police Minister needs to take responsibility and co-ordinate his Cabinet colleagues to deliver a whole-of-government approach that actually keeps these kids and our communities safe.”