Written for Armadale Town Forum held on 20th June, 2013.
Hi fellow residents and official guests.
I want to read this letter out to all of you because I believe it is important to state what we in Armadale want and why.
What we really want in Armadale is to change how safe we feel in our own community, especially at night. We want to permanently secure our town centre and public transport so restaurants and other businesses can thrive at night.
The police station should have a presence of its own in the town centre. The existing station is out of sight from the town centre and even further from the train station.
A brand new 24 hour, 7 day a week police station in the location of the old Fire Brigade HQ would be ideal. Officers and staff would be permanently stationed in Armadale and have a stake in the local community. Police would patrol the town centre on foot during opening hours of local businesses and through-out the weekend.
This would go a long way to making our town safe. But we also need to make the places we live safe and the best way to do this is through improving community relationships both between citizens, and between citizens and the local police. Events like these town-halls are the foundation of a strong community as are neighbourhood watch and borrowing a cup of sugar.
I’ve been lucky in Armadale to grow up with friendly neighbours. I now live in a cul-de-sac in Seville Grove and we know most of our neighbours well. It’s a good feeling. You know when cars should and shouldn’t be coming and going. You know if you need help you can yell out and your neighbour will be there in no time.
A police officer or ambulance in 25 minutes is great in a time of need but often a neighbour in 2 is often much better. One way to encourage community is through community events, family services and social groups – there are not enough of these in Armadale. Especially youth services.
While we do have great yearly events, many of the places I played as a kid are no longer an option. The rivers and creeks are drying up. The bush land and vacant blocks are mostly houses now. Even schools are locked up after hours now, so we can’t even go there to kick a ball or shoot hoops. These are our community centres, we need to make better use of them. But that is something only us as a community can organise.
The Police Commissioner ought to be OUR ambassador to the State Government, advocating for this station to be built. If the State Government can afford billions for a waterfront development, I see NO reason the people of Armadale should not get funding for our 24-hour police station.
Shouldn’t our positions as a community hold the most weight when deciding how our own community will be improved? I certainly believe it should be.
Thank you for your time and for listening to my thoughts.