Freo's View

FREMANTLE BEGGARS BLAME GAME NOT HELPFUL

 

While there is no doubt that beggars and homeless people do create problems in Fremantle it is unfair to blame Fremantle Council for it, as the tabloid emotive article by Josh Zimmerman in the Sunday Times does today.

The headline screams that business furious at council inaction, and further in the article it is claimed that Fremantle has the reputation as a soft-touch on anti-social behaviour.

Beggars increase in numbers during the summer months in Fremantle and there is no doubt there are heaps of them around at the moment, many of them with mental health issues.

The Community Safety Officers of the City are on the beat every day from early till late, but they don’t have move-on power like the WA Police does, and anyway, that just shifts the problem elsewhere.

There have been several community safety forums held by the CoF which are attended by police and support services, but the frustration is always evident that there is little they can do about homeless people.

Homelessness is not a crime, but public drunkenness, drug dealing and anti-social behaviour are, and that needs to be addressed more consistently, because there are a few too many who behave aggressively  on our streets who make people feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

There is no doubt in my mind that the fact that there are many support services in Fremantle attract homeless people to our city, because there is always a free meal, a new blanket, the Freo Street Doctor, etc. to help them out. Services they can’t get in most other suburbs in the Perth metro area.

Fremantle Council can’t be blamed for that however. We are yet again getting more CCTV cameras which are live monitored 24/7 and we have more Community Safety Officers on the streets as well. Law&order issues are State Government responsibility and not in the power of local councils.

It is an annoying and frustrating problem for which there are no easy solutions unfortunately, but the blame game in tabloid newspapers is not helpful either.

Roel Loopers

MORE VANDALISM AT HISTORIC ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

 

Morons continue to deface and vandalise Fremantle’s historic Arthur’s Head especially along the coastal path at Bathers Beach.

Graffiti has been sprayed on the Aboriginal Manjarree Trail signs and on the solar lights, which have again been vandalised with many small holes smashed into the panels.

I hear there are officers at the City of Fremantle who believe it is not appropriate to replace those small lights and to put taller solar lights in the area, as that would not be in keeping with the heritage significance, but I wonder how ugly, vandalised low lights suit the historic area any better.

This has been an ongoing problem for many years and Fremantle Council needs to address this. The path is very popular with tourists and locals so an unsightly appearance is not good enough!

Roel Loopers

CONVICTS WALKING TO FREMANTLE PRISON ART

Posted in city of fremantle, crime, fremantle prison, heritage, history, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on December 21, 2018

 

 

A new artwork of cut-out figures of convicts and prison wardens walking up to Fremantle Prison has been installed along the wall of Fremantle Oval.

It looks great, so go and have a look at it, and also at the prison entry building lit up in different colours at night. The kids will love it!

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S WEST END DRUG WORRIES

Posted in anti-social, city of fremantle, crime, law&order, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on December 20, 2018

 

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Local residents and business owners in the area of High and Henry streets in Fremantle’s historic West End are fed up with anti-social behaviour and drug dealing, and the lack of decisive action by the authorities.

Photos and videos taken by the locals show that drug dealing is going on many times a day and that allegedly also affects the backpackers hostel above Bar Orient.

There have been meetings with Fremantle Police, the City of Fremantle safety rangers, Councillors and affected business owners and residents, but there is no relief from the steady stream of itinerants playing up in the area.

The problems near the backpackers on the corner of Henry and High streets have been going on for years, so Fremantle Council will need to have some serious thoughts about how it can improve the amenity for those who get all the negative impact from drug users and dealers.

There is a visual increase in the number of homeless people in Fremantle over the last few months, as often happens during the summer months, and when they roam around in groups they become intimidating.

Up at the Roundhouse homeless people are making the public toilets their day destination and hang out inside, so many tourists are not comfortable using the toilets.

The rangers mainly show up at Arthur’s Head early in the morning to evict people from the verandahs of the cottages, but rarely come up to patrol the area later in the day any more, so that also needs to improve.

Homelessness is a sad reality in Australia and so is the increase in drug use, but law abiding citizens should feel safe on the streets of our cities, and so should our overseas and interstate visitors.

Roel Loopers

DON’T FENCE ME IN

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, crime, democracy, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 6, 2018

 

The only thing missing last night at Councillor Jeff McDonald’s slide show about fences in Hilton was the Don’t Fence Me In soundtrack by Bing Crosby.

McDonald had done a photographic survey of compliant and non-compliant fences in the garden suburb because there were three items about fences on the Fremantle Planning Committee agenda. It was all about height and permeability of the fences that needed retrospective approval, or refusal, from our elected members.

Like McDonald, a member of the public had also surveyed the Hilton fences and stated that at least half of them were non-compliant, but Councillor Ingrid Waltham rightly pointed out that the fact that there are many non-compliant fences did not mean council should approve another one. Too true! Just because most motorists ignore road rules does not mean we should all ignore them.

Mayor Brad Pettitt is a big picture thinker and was probably influenced by the French riots and fearing a Fence Revolution in Fremantle when he said that it would undermine good process to approve non-compliant fences. Where would it leave us if we don’t have any rules?

It was all about some of the fences being too high or not permeable, and public speakers rambled on far too long to show they had done their home work until the early hours and googled everything about planning rules, legislations and loopholes, of which Councillors and staff are obviously aware, so making a few succinct points only would have been much better, much faster, and less boring.

A permeable fence is basically the negligee, or see-through, of fences, and legislators believe they allow passive surveillance by home owners of what happens on the street. It appears the planning gurus believe that these fences are like one-way mirrors and that burglars can’t look into the properties through these fences, especially at night when the house lights are on and the streets dark.

The tedium of council process was evident last night and while at a previous committee meeting I had at least the stunning new zebra shoes of Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge to look at to relieve the boredom, but I had nothing last night. So note to self. Bring a tablet for the next meeting so you can play chess on the computer.

And after all that I even forgot to note if all three fences were retrospectively approved or not, but I think one of them was deferred for improvement.

By the way, the Ordinary Council meeting next Wednesday night will be held at the Fremantle Townhall, so don’t go to North Freo!

Roel Loopers

 

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STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!

 

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The 16 days VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN campaign held a breakfast on the lawn of the WA Shipwrecks Museum in Fremantle this morning.

It is very disturbing to hear that domestic violence in Australia has been increasing over the last years, and that is not acceptable!

Roel Loopers

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SPEAK OUT AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

 

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Early notice that it is White Ribbon Day on Friday and that there will be a floral installation in Fremantle’s Henderson Street between the Sail&Anchor and Fremantle Markets from 9am to 1pm.

Domestic violence, mainly against women, is an abhorrent crime that has been increasing in Australia, and that needs to be stopped!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE HAS THIRD LOWEST CRIME RATE IN WA

Posted in city of fremantle, community, crime, homelessness, law&order, local government, police, Uncategorized by freoview on November 13, 2018

 

The public perception that Fremantle is a hot spot for crime and antisocial behaviour is wrong according to the statistics, Senior Sergeant Brad Warburton, the officer in charge of the Fremantle police station, told a safety forum at the Townhall on Monday evening.

The senior sergeant said that Fremantle ranked third from the bottom of all local councils in Western Australia when it came to crime, and that the majority of crime in Fremantle is stealing of clothes and food, stealing bicycles, and stealing from cars.

Minister Simone McGurk said that the perception of safety depended on where you are in Fremantle and at what time of the day, but a perceived issue is a problem in itself.

A whole raft of issues needed to be addressed and we should look at the evidence of solutions in other cities.

Senior Sergeant Brad Warburton said that police had a real passion for Fremantle and that burglaries, theft and motor vehicle theft were down considerably, compared to last year. “Crime is definitely not out of control!”

He said there needed to be a platform for multi-agency support and collaboration and that the City of Fremantle safety officers and excellent CCTV network were very important.

Homelessness is a social problem. It is not a crime to be homeless and not a police problem.

Lately Fremantle had been experiencing a youth problem with truancies, especially from the new Fremantle College in Beaconsfield and that needed a multi-agency approach to deal with. Unfortunately many agencies had a too high threshold before they could engage with issues, and that meant they often came in too late.

The new policing system introduced by the new police commissioner meant that Fremantle police station has doubled in size and the officer in charge has more control and a better understanding of the problems.

Chris Scanlon, who leads the City’s safety team, said that they are improving their collaboration with NCOs around town and that an additional 39 new CCTV cameras will be installed over the next 12 months.

Michael Piu, the CEO of St Patrick’s said that Imagine Futures had brought together a large number of agencies which are working together at all levels, from youth problems and schools to homelessness. “We need to stop things from happening in the first place!”

It was a good forum last night, but we had one about a year ago, so we need to make sure that these forums are more than just talk fest, and that actual action is taken. As Senior Sergeant Brad Warburton said “My question after forums like these is what now?”

Two things that need improvement in Fremantle in my opinion are street lighting, maybe in some areas motion-triggered lights to flood a whole area, and the fact that too many drunks fall out of licensed premises, an indication that the responsible service of alcohol is not complied with and the Fremantle Accord is not working.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

GOOD FREMANTLE CRIME RESULTS

Posted in BOOKS, city of fremantle, crime, law&order, police, Uncategorized by freoview on November 9, 2018

 

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The van stolen from Elizabeth’s Bookshops in Fremantle a few days ago has been found in Victor Harbour, South Australia, so that is an indication how well social media works when people make a positive contribution.

Another good Freo story is that WA Police have been targeting shop lifting this week and arrested 9 shoplifters in three days. Well done!

Roel Loopers

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BIKE STOLEN FROM DISABLED WOMAN

Posted in bicycles, city of fremantle, crime, disability, Uncategorized by freoview on November 8, 2018

 

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If you see this bike anywhere in Fremantle or Cockburn please call police immediately!

The custom-made bike belongs to the delightful Danielle Loizou Lake who has a disability and this is her major form of transport, also to get the kids to school and pre-school.

It was stolen from Hamilton Hill last night, so please keep an eye out for it!!!!

Roel Loopers

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