Freo's View

NEW COMMUNITY SAFETY PLAN FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, crime, law&order, local government, police, Uncategorized, vandalism by freoview on August 7, 2019

 

The City of Fremantle is seeking public feedback on a new Community Safety Plan.

The draft Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan sets priorities for community safety and crime prevention for the next five years across the City of Fremantle.

It was developed by the City’s Community Safety Reference Group, which includes senior members of WA Police, City of Fremantle elected members and staff.

The plan is based on the input received from nearly 500 people who were engaged either online or face to face via workshops, school visits, forums or surveys during an extensive community engagement process.

The aim of the City is to create an environment in Fremantle where people feel safe, with public spaces designed to be actively used throughout the day and night that encourages people to linger and interact.

The City of Fremantle has made a big effort towards community safety by increasing the Community Safety Team and the CCTV network which will be expanded this year.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said “But community safety and crime prevention are complex issues and many aspects are not under the control of local government, so it needs a collaborative effort from all tiers of government, local businesses and the community.

“That’s why the Community Safety Plan includes direct actions for the City to implement, and also identifies other areas outside of our control where we can advocate on behalf of the community.”

Some of the recommendations in the plan include maintaining relationships with WA Police and support for crime prevention campaigns such as ‘Look, Lock, Leave’ and Neighbourhood Watch.

The plan also recommends the City continue to work with community service providers to increase the level of social support available in Fremantle, such as the recently announced 20 Lives 20 Homes program, and continue to share information with the business community.

Other actions include the installation of safe parking zones to deter bike theft, seeking opportunities and funding to expand the CCTV network and improved lighting.

The Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan is out for public comment until Friday 23 August.

For more information and to provide feedback visit the City of Fremantle’s My Say Freo website.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE CHAMBER REJECTS WEST AUSTRALIAN CLAIMS

 

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce has hit back at The West Australians article that casts doubt on Fremantle’s economic growth potential and position.

In a media release the FCOC wrote:

Unlike many urban centres in Australia, Fremantle is currently experiencing unprecedented investment and renewal underway, with the combined value of private and public investment in the pipeline totaling more than $1.3 billion.

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is actively connecting, uniting and assisting in the growth of a successful and vibrant business community that builds on Fremantle’s unique advantage, its heritage and its maritime focus.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Danicia Quinlan said: “Fremantle, like most urban centres, is affected by the current wave of societal change in the way people gather, shop, dine, interact commercially and manage environmental challenges. Learning from other Councils, or even other cities locally,mand internationally, is an important way to navigate our way through these changes. We need Fremantle Councillors and the Mayor to be an active part of trying to find ways to manage all of these complex challenges.”

And more feedback from Fremantle traders:

The damage The West Australian is doing to Fremantle and its businesses far surpasses any perceived damage by council. Fremantle Markets is running at full occupancy with over 56,000 visitors last weekend for the 3 days period. Feedback from traders was “sales were excellent”.

Councils everywhere are going through a difficult time, however, the City of Fremantle Economic Development team and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce regularly engage with businesses and continue to make many great improvements to the city” .

Natasha Atkinson – Chief Executive Officer Fremantle Markets and Winner Business News 2019 40 Under 40

Our focus is on Fremantle with our affordable and green residential developments. Our projects generally achieve an equity internal rate between 15-30% and we don’t see this slowing. Fremantle business has a great future as we focus on building on our competitive advantage of heritage, environmental consciousness and community spirit”.

Tao Bourton, Fremantle’s Yolk Property Group Director

It is exciting to see so many new businesses have decided to invest their potential in Fremantle not only for today, but for many years to come. We look forward to working together to build a unique and vibrant business community.”

Ivan Dezba, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce President and Managing Director, Benny’s

People more cynical than I am might well suggest the constant attacks on shopping in local councils are a PR exercise to promote urban shopping centres, from where more advertising dollars can be obtained than from the traditional High Street shopping destinations.

One week we read and see that all is wrong and violent in Cockburn, then it is Rockingham, Fremantle, Subiaco, Mount Lawley, Leederville, Perth, etc.

Is it PR, is it political to give less power to local councils, or is it just lazy journalism during slow news cycles?

A West End cafe owner told me that last Friday, Saturday and Sunday had been some of the busiest days they have experienced. Maybe it is time for the West and its sister TV and radio stations to be more balanced and allow Freo’s positive stories to come out in the open instead of always focusing on the negative aspects.

Roel Loopers

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POLICE LOOKING FOR NEW FREO STATION

Posted in city of fremantle, cruise, law&order, police, property, Uncategorized by freoview on July 14, 2019

 

WA Police are looking for a new and more suitable site for a new Fremantle police station in the east of Fremantle, so there are a few options available to them.

The St John’s ambulance site in Parry Street will be vacated in due course when the ambos move to O’Connor, and there are two vacant sites near that, one next to St Patrick’s in Queen Victoria Street and one in Beach Street next to the Australia Hotel. The Shacks Holden car dealership sites  at Queen Victoria Street on either side of Finnerty Street are also for sale

While so much police presence in the West End has been reassuring for the community traders and shoppers will no doubt welcome the return of the parking bays in High and Short streets that are now reserved for police vehicles.

I only hope the new police complex will actually be in Fremantle and will not move further away to Melville.

Roel Loopers

IRONIC DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL FOR WEST END

 

I have to admit that I had a smile on my face when I read the agenda for Wednesday’s City of Fremantle Planning Committee and noticed that architect Shane Braddock is applying for planning approval for a two-storey addition at 33-37 High Street in Freo’s West End.

Braddock is a very loud voice constantly complaining on social media how unsafe Fremantle’s CBD is and the anti social behaviour that is allegedly happening next door to his property at the backpackers and on the street below.

It is a bit ironic then that he now wants to extend the property for his family with a living and dining area, a kitchen and bedroom, and adding a bridge between the front and rear buildings and also add a water tower.

But good luck to Shane. I welcome anyone who wants to commit to Fremantle’s progress, so good to see the officer’s recommendation is for Council to approve the proposed development.

Can the property owner please also remove the yellow foil from the facade of the building while he is doing the additions.

Roel Loopers

 

TYRES SLASHED IN SOUTH FREMANTLE

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, crime, law&order, police, Uncategorized, vandalism by freoview on February 11, 2019

 

 

Dozens of tyres were slashed last night in Kings William and Attfield Streets in South Fremantle.

Many cars did have two tyres slashed which required a mobile tyre repair company to attend this morning.

A lot of people are now hundreds of dollars out of pockets because of some brain dead idiot(s) who believe it is funny to vandalise other people’s cars.

This happened about two years ago as well in the same area with even more cars damaged, and I also had two tyres on my car punctured.

These vandals are fools and criminals, so I hope the police will catch them!!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S SAFETY A WORRY FOR TRADERS AND SHOPPERS

 

FREO NOW-formerly BID-are writing to the Minister for Police and WA Police Commissioner about the escalating safety issues in Fremantle.

Shop owners are fed up with shop lifting, violence, anti-social behaviour and foul language in the CBD and want more police presence on the streets and stronger action taken.

Only a few months ago Fremantle residents and business owners were told that the crime statistics for Fremantle had been going down steadily, but that does not appear to be the case when one hears of a woman being assaulted at Mills Records and an armed robbery at Rip Curl.

Drug dealing and anti-social behaviour are daily occurrences in High Street near the backpackers on the corner of Henry Street, and so is shop-lifting all over the CBD.

When people feel unsafe in the inner city of Fremantle they will not come for shopping or to enjoy the entertainment our city often has on offer, so more needs to be done by WA Police because the City of Fremantle unfairly gets the flack for it.

More police walking the beat is essential to deter and prevent crime, but from my observations fewer officers are on the streets now than six months ago.

Our traders are doing it tough as it is, so they don’t need more stress and worries and getting abused by out of control vagrants.

Roel Loopers

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

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

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

 

 

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