Opinion: Crime tarnishes our community

Mandurah Mail editor Gareth McKnight shares his opinion following the recent crime spate in Mandurah. Photo: Mandurah Mail file image.
Mandurah Mail editor Gareth McKnight shares his opinion following the recent crime spate in Mandurah. Photo: Mandurah Mail file image.

While positive stories are always easier for a journalist to tell, it is a local newspaper's role to identify issues in the community it represents and play a part in finding a solution.

After a busy weekend for our police and a number of high-profile incidents making state news for all the wrong reasons, it is clear that Mandurah has an issue with crime.

We are not alone in this - crime happens everywhere.

Like everywhere else, Mandurah's criminal perpetrators are vastly outnumbered by a good, honest community that wants to feel safe.

This week we have spoken to our elected officials, community leaders and decision makers - stressing the fact that a wild weekend of crime is not acceptable and action needs to be taken.

The semantics of policing models are always a hot topic and can be used as a political football.

But, taking the political back-and-forth out of it, local policing resourcing levels need to be properly assessed.

The fact local authorities have recently met in a bid to make Mandurah safer (page 8) is a good start - but this paper wants to report on tangible subsequent action.

As an outward-facing community, it is difficult to accept being tarred with the 'it's not safe there' moniker from people looking in.

I experienced this external train of thought when I lived in 'unsafe' Rockingham - when nothing seemed further from the truth.

Meanwhile, when I lived in Broome, the town's social issues were largely overlooked and the masses anecdotally viewed the Kimberley sunspot as an idyllic location.

Mandurah has so much to offer and deserves to be regarded as an appealing place to live, work and visit.

However, getting to grips with crime is a pre-requisite if negative connotations about our city are to dissipate.

Gareth McKnight is the Mandurah Mail's editor.