Acting Inspector Lee Ingmire is out to dispel the perception that Kiama Police Station is generally closed and that there isn’t an active police presence in Kiama.
“The Station is open seven days a week, usually from 8am – 5pm, and there is still an active police presence after those hours allowing us to respond at any time of the day or night,” she says.
She points to the swift arrest of the people involved in the recent carjacking at Gerringong as a way that resources can be pulled together from across units when needed.
“In that instance, we were able to coordinate officers and vehicles from Lake Illawarra and the South Coast Police district, Highway Patrol, Pol Air and the Dog Unit to achieve a successful outcome.
“After the vehicle being located in Berry on the morning after the incident, and another vehicle being stolen, the couple were eventually apprehended at Albion Park.”
Acting Inspector Ingmire has been the Officer in Charge of Kiama for the last 12 months, but until now has kept a relatively low profile.
“I want people to know they can contact me if they have any ongoing issues that need to focused on.
“I’m here to provide consistency and forge relationships with the community.”
Her role is the result of the Officer-in-Charge model being introduced for NSW regional areas last year. It provides an identifiable police officer in the community as a point of contact for solving local issues or problems.
While Acting Inspector Ingmire is physically based in Oak Flats, she has responsibility for the policing that occurs in the Kiama LGA.
In this role, she’s a member of Kiama Council’s new Community Safety Committee, attends the Liquor Accord and is available to speak at community meetings.
“The thing that people keep telling me is that they want to see a visible police presence on the streets, and that is something I hope to improve in the months to come.”
She believes that even simple measures like getting the police cars to park out on Terralong St, rather than around the back of the Police Station, can play a role in lifting perceptions of the level of police presence.
“Apart from the duty officer, task vehicles and police are deployed throughout the Lake Illawarra Police District as and where they are needed.”
While this necessarily means that the same officers are not here on a regular basis, unlike the old days when a team was assigned to a Station, Acting Inspector Ingmire says it leads
to much more responsive policing.
“Our resources can be distributed across the day where they are needed, so we can respond to crime wherever it occurs in a reasonable time.”
As someone who lived in Kiama early in her police career, she has an insider’s knowledge and affection for the area.
“The Kiama area is a great place to live, and we’re here to make it even better,” she says.
She is looking forward to improving community engagement in a variety of ways, including having a regular stall at the Kiama Seaside Market.
She says that reporting all crimes to the Police is crucial for resources to be deployed effectively
To report a crime taking place, call 000
To report a crime that has happened, call 131 444
To prevent a crime, call Crimestoppers 1800 333 000
To contact Kiama Police Station, call 4232 1444
Acting Inspector Ingmire invites people with ongoing issues to contact her directly on 4232 5321