Dunsborough top cops farewells the Capes
One of the South West’s most senior officers will wave goodbye to Dunsborough Police Station this month in a bid to savour the South West lifestyle she has come to love.
For 21/2 years, Sgt Jane Gillham has been at the helm of the station as officer-in-charge, steering crime fighting operations and pushing for better public safety.
Sgt Gillham has taken on a prosecuting position at Bunbury Police Station that has offered her the chance to keep living in the South West.
She said after finding a part of the country she never wanted to leave, it was a relief to remain in the region.
Dunsborough is a magnificent location in a beautiful part of the world
“I’ve been pretty nomadic over my career but now I’ve found part of the country that I really want to set my roots down in.”
Sgt Gillham, pictured, described the officer-in-charge position she was leaving behind as one of the most sought-after positions in the State’s police force, and said it would be hard to say goodbye.
Prior to coming to Dunsborough, Sgt Gillham was a well-rounded officer from her time in charge at Three Springs Police Station, as shift supervisor at Canarvon Police Station, prosecutor in the east Kimberley, and officer in charge at remote Aboriginal community Oombulgurri.
In her last interview at the local station, the outgoing officer lamented a few major issues that continued to pose a threat to the Dunsborough community.
She said one ongoing problem had been the public’s apathy towards crime.
“There isn’t a huge amount of crime here in town, but when there is crime, the community gets quite upset,” she said.
“People in Dunsborough, they don’t lock their cars, they don’t lock their homes — heaps of opportunistic crime happens.
“People feel safe down here, and their world can be shattered so easily.”
Sgt Gillham said it was obvious people in the area needed to take more responsibility for their safety.
“We’re not immune to drug-use and things like that. We’re very lucky that we don’t have a lot of crime and it would reduce significantly if people just took some responsibility for their own security.”
Another issue threatening the region, which Sgt Gillham said significantly hindered her officers’ investigative lines of inquiry, was a lack of CCTV.
She said since arriving at the station in 2018, she had been working with the City of Busselton to establish security cameras in the Capes, and hoped they were on their way in the next few years.
“A lot of towns have CCTV and for us not having it at all really limits our investigative lines of inquiry when something does happen,” she said.
“That is now in the planning stages so hopefully that will happen in the next couple of years and we will have some good CCTV to help us in our investigations.”
She said drink-driving was also a major issue the police team in Dunsborough would continue to tackle.
She said when something “bad” happens as a result of drink-driving, it not only affected those involved, but the entire Capes community.
“My officers have to attend crashes with serious injuries and fatal crashes, and go and tell the family – a lot of the time they know the people, it affects the community as a whole,” she said.
“It’s very frustrating that this continue to happen. For people to blame the lack of public transport for them drink driving is just not going to fly.”
One thing the outgoing officer said she would miss about her role in the area was patrolling on the beach and being able to walk among and interact with the community.
“Being seen, being available to people, and leading a great group of officers has been one of the best parts,” she said.
Sgt Robbie Fay, from Bunbury Police Station, will take over.
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