Mandurah police officer in charge to depart this Friday, new chief to be appointed soon

PASTURES NEW: Mandurah Police officer in charge Senior Sergeant Darren Hart will vacate the role later this week. Photo: Gareth McKnight.
PASTURES NEW: Mandurah Police officer in charge Senior Sergeant Darren Hart will vacate the role later this week. Photo: Gareth McKnight.

Mandurah is set to have a new officer in charge of the police station within a few weeks, as Senior Sergeant Darren Hart will finish the role on Friday.

Senior Sergeant Hart started his current position in June 2018 after a stint in the armed robbery squad and will depart to take up an inspector role as the officer in charge of Perth police station from next week.

He said while the new responsibilities would be an exciting challenge, he was sad to leave his position in Mandurah.

"It's gone by in a flash," Senior Sergeant Hart said.

"I'm really proud to have been part of a very effective team that work under some trying conditions sometimes.

"I've loved it and I'm sorry to be leaving."

Senior Sergeant Hart said he was pleased with the work undertaken during his stewardship.

This included the handling of a number of high-profile incidents in Mandurah's city centre - but he said issues around Smart Street Mall unfairly painted the region in a negative light.

"I'm pretty happy with what we've achieved as a police station within the community, particularly around the CBD," Senior Sergeant Hart said.

"We've had ongoing perception issues - there's a perception that Mandurah's this or that.

"Probably that's one of my frustrations that I leave with is - and it's not an impression the media gives but that some people have - that there's all these problems.

"But if you take a step back, Mandurah is a wonderful place to live. It's a fantastic community.

"The issues we have are no different to any large town or small city.

"Anywhere there is an entertainment precinct, you always get those occasional incidents, usually by people that should know better who have had a few too many drinks - it is a common theme.

"The unfortunate side effect of some of these incidents is that it does drag down people's perception of Mandurah generally."

Senior Sergeant Hart said his advice to his eventual successor would be to focus on the positives officers achieved on a daily basis.

"You can get a little bit lost in the day-to-day - our officers work tirelessly," he said.

"Stats go up and down. I'd sooner be judged by the community - but that can be frustrating as sometimes the perception doesn't match with the reality.

"I think Mandurah generally is in a pretty good space."