Police work to rule, betray speed traps as pay row heats up
10th July 2006, 13:35 WST
A controversial industrial campaign for better pay by the State’s 5000 police will reduce the number of officers on the beat and on the road from today, seriously delay response times to incidents and undermine revenue from Multanova speed traps.
Announcing the first phase of a work-to-rule campaign, WA Police Union president Mike Dean warned that the public would struggle to get officers to attend minor incidents this week and predicted that response times could be delayed 15 to 20 minutes.
“The impacts will be serious. This week you will be battling to get a police car,” Mr Dean said. As part of the campaign, police will deliberately damage the State Government’s revenue raised by Multanovas by highlighting the speed-trap locations. The union is also planning an advertising blitz against individual Labor politicians.
The union will escalate the campaign each week for the next three months and could soon start issuing cautions instead of fines. Mr Dean said the mood at the 40 police branches which met last week to consider the next step in the campaign was angry and determined.
“The Government better wake up and start taking us seriously otherwise they’re going to have more trouble than they’ve ever had before out of the police,” he said. Mr Dean said police officers would try to reduce Government income by highlighting the location of Multanovas with hourly checks at each speed trap across the State.
“What’ll occur there is that police will pull up in front of Multanovas, with their lights flashing, andobviously disrupt those Multanovas for as long as it takes,” he said. The workto-rule measures will include a blanket refusal to do goodwill and non-rostered hours, which average about one hour each day for each officer.
From today, police would also take an extra 20 minutes to get “kitted up” at the start of each shift and take a full 40-minute lunch break at their station. They would also refuse to allow single-officer patrols and call-outs, insisting on two officers for each vehicle.
Police Minister John Kobelke said yesterday he was confident the campaign would not harm public safety, but vowed to haul the union before the WA Industrial Commission to end it if the community was significantly affected.