Jul 18

Belmont experiences drop in crime despite police station’s closure

RESIDENTS HAPPY: Belmont Neighbourhood Watch member Deadre Ham at Belmont Police Station.BELMONT crime rates have plummeted in the past three months, even though the police station has been closed.

Belmont Neighbourhood Watch’s monthly crime report, based on figures obtained from the Lake Macquarie Local Area Command, show a significant drop in all types of crime since Belmont Police Station closed in June to be rebuilt.

In June there were 48 reported incidents of theft, including stolen vehicles; 15 break and enters; and 17 cases of malicious damage to property.

The latest report lists 17 incidents of theft, 10 break and enters, and 12 cases of malicious damage to property.

Neighbourhood watch member Deadre Ham attributed the drop to an increased police presence in the suburb.

When Belmont’s police headquarters closed, officers were relocated to Charlestown, Swansea and Toronto police stations.

At the time NSW Police Minister Stuart Ayres reassured Belmont residents they would not be left without a police presence.

And they haven’t been, Mrs Ham said.

“I haven’t heard of anyone having any problems with getting police on the scene of emergencies,” she said.

“[The residents] seem very comfortable and safe.”

Lake Macquarie Local Area Command Superintendent Brett Greentree confirmed the area had experienced a reduction in crime.

“The police, at the moment, even though they’re disrupted in terms of accommodation, are doing a fantastic job,” Superintendent Greentree said.

“You don’t need a police station to do police work.”

Belmont police officers will return to their home base next year.

The $11 million state government project will transform the headquarters into Lake Macquarie’s new local area command, with state-of-the-art cells.

Superintendent Greentree was joined by Assistant Commissioner Jeff Loy and Police Minister Stuart Ayres last week for a sod-turning ceremony to officially mark construction at the Herbert Street site.

Lake Macquarie Local Area of Command Assistant Commissioner Jeff Loy and Superintendent Brett Greentree on hand as NSW Police Minister Stuart Ayres turns the first sod for the new Belmont Police Station.

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