Freo's View



Fremantle Police have issued an arrest warrant for former Fremantle Ports employee Giacomo Merolla(54) and his wife Daniela Merolla(54) for alleged corrupt business practices between 2014 and 2020.

This comes after an internal investigation by Fremantle Ports found anomalies in expenditure patterns late last year, with possible fraudulent behaviour. The Ports reported the matter to Police and the Corruption and Crime Commissions.

Giacomo Merolla left Fremantle Ports before being dismissed. He and his wife left Australia earlier this years and are overseas.

More that one million dollars have been identified as having been transferred to bank accounts controlled by shelf companies. Police conducted a search warrant on a residence and storage unit, where they discovered $ 70,000.

Two people related to the couple have been arrested. A 23 year-old man from Woodvale and a 28 year-old woman from Wattle Grove have been charged with money laundering.

The alleged fraud involved the manipulation of the procurement of goods with local businesses, directing money to the benefit of the former Fremantle Ports employee.

Roel Loopers




Posted in art, city of fremantle, crime, Uncategorized by freoview on June 12, 2020


It is great that the sculptures of Fremantle J Shed artist Greg James are so popular, but it is not good at all that the appreciation for them is expressed with theft.

A second one of Greg’s sculptures was stolen this week from outside Liberty Liquors in Claremont, after the Bella artwork was stolen from the Fishing Boat Harbour last year.

The $ 28,000 Horus II Junior, which was loaned to the bottle shop from a private collector, was stolen by thieves on pushbikes on Wednesday night, similar to the theft of Bella here in Fremantle.

There is good news about Bella, but I have been told they’ll kill me if I tell you before the official announcement. ;>)

Roel Loopers





Those who frequent Kings Square daily, as I do, are very aware of dozens of people gathering there, who often use foul language and who make the area feel unsafe to walk through. While the yelling is mostly not directed at passers by it still makes one uncomfortable, so it has been good to see over the last two weeks that there has been a no tolerance approach and that the larger groups no longer gather at Freo’s city square.

It is reassuring to hear that, yet again, the City of Fremantle and Fremantle Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to call for greater assistance from the State Government to provide more Police to manage community safety issues as ‘restart Fremantle’ efforts gain momentum.

With more businesses opening and visitors returning to the popular café and shopping strips in steadily-growing numbers, a stronger and more visible police presence has been urged to ensure people feel safe and welcome.

City and Chamber representatives have met with Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk and WA Police Fremantle Superintendent Kate Taylor to discuss a collaborative approach that Mayor Brad Pettitt said was necessary, and needed to go beyond normal operations.

“As more and more people are coming back into the city, we need to make sure Fremantle is a welcoming place and that people are able to experience the very best of Freo,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“To do this there is going to need to be greater resources and collaboration between the City of Fremantle, WA Police and social service providers including State Government agencies.

“We want people to receive the support services they need and also to send a strong message that Fremantle is back open and safe. We have a huge need to reinvigorate our city and we must all play our part in keeping Freo safe, secure and enjoyable for everyone.

“We pride ourselves on being a tolerant and supportive community but we are also a community that should not be afraid of calling out anti-social and inappropriate behaviour to make our city safe.”

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce CEO Danicia Quinlan said business operators wanted greater police visibility, particularly earlier in the day.

“There is a clear and direct connection between our Police and Community Safety Officers being visible and a decrease in petty crime and anti-social behaviour,” Ms Quinlan said.

“It is vital that we are all working together to create confidence and ensure businesses have the best chance to bounce back. We would also like to see a greater focus on lighting up the city to encourage people to be and about at night during winter, experiencing Fremantle’s unique heritage, surprise venues and cosy hotspots.”

Increased police vigilance and safety patrols, especially in the city centre, working with the City’s Community Safety Team would be welcomed by locals and visitors as well as complement the City’s own community safety services, Mayor Pettitt said.

“Our community safety team operates seven days a week patrolling all areas of the city but we rely on support from WA Police to address any anti-social behaviour as our officers do not have the power to arrest or move on and have a very limited ability to issue infringements for anti-social behaviour.

“The overwhelming evidence is that there also needs to be better supports for people in terms of accessing housing, metal health and other social services. We need these expanded social services the state government provides alongside a stronger focus from police and ongoing collaboration with the City of Fremantle to make our City as inviting and enjoyable as we know it can be,” he said.

Mayor Pettitt said the City would continue to work with local support agencies to address social disadvantage while also encouraging people to report issues to police and the City of Fremantle Community Safety team.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, crime, law&order, police, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 7, 2020


The Police Union is not happy with the safety of the Fremantle police station in High Street, and that is no surprise really as the former bank building is inappropriate for a police station, and it has no secure parking for police and staff vehicles, as the torching of three vehicles last weekend highlighted.

But Police Minister Michelle Roberts has indicated that the State Government has now identified the new location for a new Fremantle police station, and I wonder where that will be.

There were rumours of the new police station being part of the proposed Woolstores development in Cantonment Street, but also that the girls and boys in blue might take over the Adelaide Plaza in Adelaide Street, and the former St John’s ambulance site in Parry Street also came up as a possibility.

Michelle Roberts has indicated they will announce the new location soon, so stay tuned Freo.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, crime, law&order, police, Uncategorized, vandalism by freoview on March 3, 2020


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Good to know that police have charged a 27-year-old man from Gosnells for the torching of three police cars in Leake Street on Sunday night.

Damage to the cars is estimated to be $ 160,000, so it is good to get people who commit these crimes off our streets.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, crime, law&order, police, Uncategorized by freoview on March 2, 2020


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There are some brainless idiots around, hey!

Three police cars were set on fire in Leake Street last night at the back of the Fremantle police station.

I have no time at all for those in our society who believe that they should be allowed to break the law and who verbally attack police officers, spit on them, behave violently, or damage police property.

Police officers are not malicious sadists who like to inflict pain upon the community, they do their job, so if you drive too fast, drink and drive, use your mobile phone while driving, steal, attack people, or break any of the laws and rules we as a society have set for ourselves, than just cough up, admit your mistake and don’t blame the police.

Without a solid police force we would live in chaos and anarchy, so show some respect for those out on the beat who do a bloody dangerous job when trying to keep us all safe.

The rate at which police officers have had to use force is up by 54%, due to drugs and a general lack of respect for police and  the community. Think about it!

Roel Loopers



There appears to have been a bit of miscommunication this morning when Fremantle traders were invited to a Community Safety Briefing, but when yet another speaker spoke about future social and housing solutions for homeless people, some in the public gallery became irate and wanted to express their concerns about antisocial behaviour, violence, shoplifting and begging. They were not very interested to hear about long term solutions, when they want immediate action.

One Market Street shopkeeper expressed that she feared she might have to stop trading because of the issues and that she herself might end up on the street, while others questioned the slow response time of police and Fremantle community safety officers, and asked if the number of officers dealing with these issues is adequate.

Mayor Brad Pettitt had said before the public interruption that one of the key issues was working together, while Minister Simone McGurk said a lot of resources were put in by Police in Fremantle and Perth CBD with a no tolerance approach to antisocial behaviour.

The state government were spending hundreds of millions of dollars on social housing and housing for homeless facilities, using the best evidence from around Australia and the world as a cornerstone for the government policy. It was important to provide permanent, instead of transitional, housing and that had very good outcomes.

The Senior Sergeant in charge of Fremantle police said that Fremantle and Perth CBD were unique but that total crime reported since July last year was down by 5.6%, however retail theft was up by 22%.

The best crime prevention is police visibility, so there were more cops on the beat and on bikes and spread all over the day.

There were other speakers, and some who were there to speak but never got to it, so there is a lot of scope for the City to do better here and do a very specific safety forum for retailers, addressing the specific issues and trying to find specific solutions for the short and long term. Trying to cover everything, as was the case this morning, did not work and left traders frustrated.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, crime, law&order, police, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on February 5, 2020




A big shout out out the WA Police officers in the paddy wagon that drove against the one way traffic in Fremantle’s William Street at 12.10pm today and turned right against the traffic into one way Adelaide Street.

They did not have flashing lights or sirens on and drove at a leisurely speed. I followed them on foot to see which kind of priority call they attended but lost sight of them when they turned right into Queen Street, on the footpath behind the St John’s church.

Even if it had been a priority one call they would have been better to turn right from William into Henderson and then left into Queen street, because even with sirens on it is more likely that one gets stuck in a one way street when one drives in the wrong direction.

Roel Loopers




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With the start of a new year there is a time for reflection, and also a time for hope, wishes and New Year resolutions, but I believe it is also a time to be realistic and stop all the nonsense that somehow Australia is the best country on earth.

I love living in Australia, but I have lived in other really good countries and traveled to many more that were also great, and I only have to think about New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern to realise that one of the things missing in Australia is good leadership and a good PM.

We cannot claim to be the best country in the world when we have one of the highest rates of domestic violence, when racism is still happening daily, and when Australia is still sending refugees to overseas detention centres.

We are not the best country in the world when we have tens of thousands of homeless people and when we still have Aboriginal people living in third world conditions.

We have to do much better also at caring for the elderly and for the environment, so let us not be complacent because of national pride, and fool ourselves that we are living in a perfect country, when there is a lot of improvement needed still on many levels.

I love living in Fremantle because of the very good community we have, but even our small city is far from perfect and needs improvement, and that has already started.

All I read on social and in the mass media is anger, division, people attacking others, and engaging in political point-scoring.

But there is a huge lack of real leadership both in government and the private sectors, when as a community we should work together, collaborate, create bridges of tolerance and acceptance, and reach out to those who need our support, and also reach out to those who are different and have a different opinion.

We all have to share this beautiful country and this amazing planet, and we all have to work together to preserve what we have and try to improve it for the generations after us.

Have a great New Year. Hug more and argue less. Love and smiles can conquer everything!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, crime, law&order, police, Uncategorized by freoview on December 2, 2019


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A crime scene has been established in front of the Fremantle Esplanade hotel by WA Police with forensic officers and detectives on site this morning.

I have not been able to get any details of what happened, but that there was a fight that started somewhere between the Esplanade Youth Plaza and the Carriage cafe last night that spread to over the road on the corner of Essex Street and Marine Terrace, with one resident telling me there had been a lot of blood behind the cafe on the Esplanade.

Just down the road a resident of Norfolk Street has taken residential property protection to a different level with a razor wire, or was it put up by the Norfolk Hotel?

Roel Loopers


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