Northam’s new top cop ready to make a difference

Top cop: Introducing Northam's newest officer in charge Senior Sergeant David Hornby. Photo: Eliza Wynn.
Top cop: Introducing Northam's newest officer in charge Senior Sergeant David Hornby. Photo: Eliza Wynn.

Northam Police’s newest officer in charge is no stranger to the top job. 

Senior Sergeant David Hornsby has now served in every district in the state including Bunbury where he grew up, Halls Creek, Marble Bar and Meerkatharra. 

Sergeant Hornsby, who has been working as an officer for 36 and a half years started his new role as the officers in charge of the Northam Police on Monday, January 14.

He said his biggest challenge stepping into the role is coming into an unknown environment. 

“We can look at crime statistics and a whole long of things but until you get on the ground you don’t really get a feel for what is going on,” Sergeant Hornsby said.

“The big thing I try to push where ever I go is bridging that gap between police and community members.

“Community engagement is probably one of the big things I really push for, not just from my point of view but from all of the officers here.

“That’s really worked quite well for us in the past.

“I’d like to think that the people here in town will see a lot more of our people with a lot more good interaction.”

Sergeant Hornsby said Northam’s continually improving crime rate is fantastic but is not his main concern. 

“You can make any statistic say whatever you like,” he said.

“Having said that Northam being in the situation that it is in is fantastic.

“Anecdotally right across the state there seems to be a reduction.

“We’ve still got a lot to do.

“Even one crime is too much.

“In reality I don’t see that Northam is that unique in the area of drugs.

“Everywhere has issues with drugs and juvenile crime.

“You can have the highest crime rate in the state but it a lot of it comes down to whether people feel safe and that is a lot of what we look at.

“Local government and other government agencies have a responsibility to pull together to help people around town feel safe at home and walking down the street.” 

Sergeant Hornsby said experiences between local police and those in the Indigenous community is something he wants to make positive.

“I had a very a very good relationship up in Meeratharra with our elders reference groups,” he said.

“It worked very well for us and very well for them.

“It just cleared that misunderstanding.

“I’d like to set up the same thing here.

“We’ll go and look at their environment and we’ll get them to come up to the station and look around.

“The only interaction they may have with the police or the police station is when they come in when their son, daughter or grandkids are brought in and we need to talk to them.

“If we can break down some of those walls it will be better.”

Sergeant Hornsby, who moved into the area with his nursing wife said he is looking forward to getting out a meeting locals as he settles into the new position.