‘I don’t feel safe’ – Lakelands residents call for added police presence

Petition: Lakelands Residents Association members Nichole Marchesani and Lazarus Naidoo are calling for an increased police presence in the area. Photo: Gareth McKnight
Petition: Lakelands Residents Association members Nichole Marchesani and Lazarus Naidoo are calling for an increased police presence in the area. Photo: Gareth McKnight

A concerned Mandurah residents group has started a petition for an increased police presence in their suburb after a recent spike in crime.

The Lakelands Residents Association (LRA) say they want to see more regular police patrols in the area as a result of a number of incidents in recent months.

The Mandurah Mail reported a woman was carjacked and assaulted in Lakelands in August, while Mandurah police have confirmed there has been a small increase in crime in the area recently.

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LRA chairman Lazarus Naidoo said more police cars and additional signage was needed in Lakelands.

“The objective is to create an environment of safety in the community and addressing the appropriate people to make sure this happens,” he said.

“The petition is calling for the district and the police commissioner to have another look at what’s going on in the area.

“The community is growing. There isn’t the need for another police station – we need more manpower.”

LRA committee member Nichole Marchesani said she has lived in Lakelands for ten years but has seen a change over the last 18 months.

“I used to walk my dog and my children would walk home from school - this year I’ve not walked on my own and my daughter catches the bus – I don’t feel safe,” she said.

“I moved here because I wanted to feel safe. I want more of a police presence. For me, as a resident, I want to see men in blue.”

Lakers News employee Aleigha-Shae Norton with LRA members Lazarus Naidoo and Nichole Marchesani. Photo: Gareth McKnight.

Lakers News employee Aleigha-Shae Norton with LRA members Lazarus Naidoo and Nichole Marchesani. Photo: Gareth McKnight.

Mandurah Police officer in charge Senior Sergeant Darren Hart said police had witnessed a small increase in crime in Lakelands recently, but this was to be expected as it was one of the fastest-growing suburbs in the region.

"We do patrol the area regularly and there have been some reports of crime - but nothing that alarms me," he said.

"There were reports of cars being broken into earlier this week in the Lakelands, Meadow Springs and Madora Bay area and we have upped police presence as a result."

Senior Sergeant Hart said having a proactive community group in Lakelands was a positive thing, but social media users needed to be careful how they portrayed their suburb when posting online.

He said rumours that a new police outpost could be based in Lakelands in the future were untrue.

The LRA petition is based at the Lakers News newsagency.