Squads to roam hotspots

Thursday, 3rd August, 2017

Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboy, second from left, with fellow officers Scott Denny, Superintendent Local Service Area Command for York and Mid North in SA; Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKecknie; and Barrier Local Area Commander Paul Smith. Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboy, second from left, with fellow officers Scott Denny, Superintendent Local Service Area Command for York and Mid North in SA; Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKecknie; and Barrier Local Area Commander Paul Smith.

By Andrew Robertson

Roaming police squads will soon be used to fight crime waves in country towns, the state’s top regional cop said yesterday.

Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboy said so-called regional enforcement squads would be deployed to towns experiencing spikes in break-ins or other crimes at short notice.

Mr Worboy, who is visiting the city, said the squads were part of a focus on finding more flexible arrangements to fight crime in some of the state’s more remote areas.

The squads would target break-ins and car theft and other offences that the deputy commissioner said “really cut into the quick of good people”.

“So if you have any number of (break-ins) occur in a small place or any other trouble, we can deploy those people into those areas and find out who’s committing those crimes and put them before the court.

“The commissioner is very keen on this and I look forward to that occurring in the very near future.

“We’ll start out in each of the areas and in time we’ll no doubt build on that capacity and capability.”     

Mr Worboy was appointed by Police Commissioner Mick Fuller to one of two new deputy commissioner roles created early this year and is in charge of regional policing.

The former country cop, who attended a Barrier Highway Emergency Management Committee meeting yesterday, said the position gave rural and remote policing “a voice at the table” when it came to decision-making.

But he said first it was important to get around the country and find out what the problems were in each community and what they needed in terms of policing.

“It’s a big area, there’s no doubt about that, but it doesn’t take long once you talk to a few people to find out what’s troubling them,” Mr Worboy said.

“You need to come into the community sit and talk to the people walk up and down the street, listen to what the police have got to say and then go back to the table and try and do the very best we can for country communities.”