Moore Park Beach group urge police to increase presence
MOORE Park Beach residents have issued an SOS for a permanent police presence in their neighbourhood - and the local community association says it has the perfect space for them to set up.
With a death investigation last week still before the courts and a sword allegedly draw in an incident last month, residents are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of police presence and the time it takes to attend incidents when they happen.
Moore Park Beach Community Association president Maureen Lawrence said the group had been trying for five years to have more visible policing in the coastal area, but hoped a new community meeting spot could provide a solution.
In July the group started leasing a space called The Hub in the shopping complex where the public could go to host meetings and talk about community issues.
Mrs Lawrence said they would like to see a police officer attend The Hub regularly to provide a reference point for residents.
"We do have police come to our meeting but we would like the police to use The Hub, to come down and just be a presence there - even two half days a week so that people could see them about any concerns," she said.
"There are quite a lot of new people now in the new area of Moore Park but it still isn't a big enough population to have a police station.
"We've had quite a lot of incidents of vandalism at the community hall so we've had to get the council to put a CCTV in there. That's only been there the last couple of months."
Mrs Lawrence said she understood it was federal funding that determined where police stations were located based on population numbers.
"We've even seen the people who own the shopping centre to see if they could get the police in there, but it's the same old story - it's federal funding not state funding and we don't have enough of a population," she said.
"The trouble is it takes 20 minutes for the police to come down if people do report something.
"We had to call police when we had a near break-in at the hall and it took an hour and a half."
Mrs Lawrence said for now the association was speaking to community members about any concerns they had by manning The Hub with volunteers.
She said the space is also being used by other groups to hold social events.
"We sell donated books or DVDs or whatever is provided to us to keep us going," she said.
"It's a space that can be used by the general public."