The cost of policing the South Australian community is just under $800 million. Policing is provided by 5,600 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) made up of Police (80.5%), Cadets (1.5%) and Public Servants (18%).
The Commissioner of Police would like the residents of the Unley Council area (and any people who are interested) to contribute to his thinking around a recommendation he received which advises him to close the Malvern Police Station (along with seven others).
He wants to know what our reactions are to the proposed Malvern Police Station closing. What are our concerns? What are the issues that come to mind?
I’ll be asking three questions:
- How will policing respond to an aging society?
- How much does it cost to run the Malvern Police Station?
- What policing techniques will overcome the loss to policing which results from the closing of the Malvern Police Station?
Policing Response to an aging society?
One question I have is, How will policing respond to an aging society?As a larger percent of our population hit retirement issues which were once trivial become important. In particular issues around mobility and security.
We are all blessed to know many Octogenarians but ever increasingly, we are seeing more Septuagenarians (over 90 years). And not just seeing them mind you, but being amazed by them as they continue to actively engage in everyday life. That said, the relative frailty of a septuagenarian means we don’t see them lining up for Sturt FC but we do see them driving about, having a coffee and enjoying the open air.
Metropolitan Police Stations such as the one on Unley road in Malvern will be likely to become far more accessible in an aging society that the “Local Service Area” police stations.
How much does it cost to run the Malvern Police Station?
It would be good to be able to make an informed decision and I could not find the cost of operating the Malvern Police Station in the Annual Report. I looked under a few different heading and suspect the cost is tied in with “Accommodation” but I’m not sure. I think this would be good to know.
What policing techniques will overcome the loss to policing which results from the closing of the Malvern Police Station?
Policing practices change. Budget pressures are real. I am sure the report looks into these issues but on behalf of the Unley community I would like to know what policing techniques will overcome the loss to police which results from the closing of the Malvern Police Station?
So I encourage you to have a serious think about this issue and to feel confident in asking the Commissioner to respond to your concerns so that whatever decision is made is fully justified and we don’t all have to constantly contest decisions.
To submit your views all you need to do is email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You could possibly do it anonymously but I encourage you to say who you are so that your comments are views come across with personality and depth. Be logical and measured. We don’t want the Commissioner to feel as though he is on the defensive but to be thoughtful in his response so that we can see the logic in the direction which is ultimately taken.
You may also be keen to read SAPOLs Annual Report 2013-14 here. This report will help give you a good perspective on policing costs in the state. It is large but if you use “Ctrl F” and then type in search words such as “revenue”, “expenditure”, “Unley” etc you can quickly move to relevant sections.
Unley has always had a police station but will it always?