NSW Police minister Stuart Ayres, Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith and Vaucluse MP Gabrielle Upton last week announced the Waverley Police Station would recieve a multi-milion dollar rebuild should the coalition be re-elected.
The current station and courthouse are 40 years old, placing them among the oldest metropolitan police stations in Sydney.
Labor Candidate for Coogee Paul Pearce said the station needed new facilities and he fully supported the Baird government’s plans to rebuild the station.
“The facilities represent the time when they were built,” he said.
“The station is 40 years old and in 40 years crime changes.”
Waverley Police Station and Bondi Beach Police Station cover the Eastern Suburbs Local Area Command, one of the largest commands in the Sydney metropolitan area.
In 2013, the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research reported that assault other than domestic violence in Waverley decreased over 5 years at a rate of 11.3 percent annually.
However, the Bureau reported an increase in recorded liquor offences. Waverley’s rank for these offences jumped from 82 out of 143 in 2008 to 25 out of 140 in 2012.Waverley Police accounted this change to pro-active policing.
Last Saturday March 14, police charged two people after a brawl at a hotel in Bondi. The police arrested both peoples and took them to Waverley Police Station.
According to the Eastern Suburbs LAC Facebook page, the command is currently experiencing an issue with motor vehicle theft, particularly in the Bondi Beach and North Bondi areas.
Mr Pearce said he was sceptical of the timing of the announcement but said he welcomed the renovation , eve if it was announced for political purposes.
“The community needs it… it’s Waverley’s turn,” he said.
Mr Peace believes any government in power would upgrade the police station, and Ms Upton said the upgrades would be a morale boost for the police.
“It’s unacceptable for our hard-working police to turn up for work each day to such out-dated, cramped facilities,” she said.
The station is a three storey brick and concrete building and currently has inadequate facilities for the command’s 140 staff.
Mr Notley-Smith said the building is in generally poor condition.
“The station has ongoing issues with overcrowding and poor change room facilities,” he said.
No time frame was given for the completion of the station.
NSW Police declined to comment on the issue as the upgrade of the station is an election commitment.