Global progressive policing

‘The biggest policing jurisdiction in the world’: A look at the work of WA Police’s media and comms department

Inside WA Police

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Next week we will be focussing our content on Western Australia “The biggest policing jurisdiction in the world”. To introduce this In a world exclusive, on the day that the Western Australia State Government announce a groundbreaking witness incentive to help Western Australia Police Force (WAPOL) solve “cold cases”, PolicingTV’s Founder and Publisher, Bernard Rix, learns more about this “shaping the news, not in the news” approach from the Police Force Media and Comms team. They rarely feature in the news, even though their work is key to any force’s success (or, indeed, perceived failure).

He speaks first with WAPOL’s Director of Media and Corporate Communications, Joey Catanzaro, and then with WAPOL Strategic Communications Officer, Anthony Robertson. He also speaks briefly with Detective Superintendent Rohan Ingles about the groundbreaking, multi-million Australian dollar reward incentive, encouraging cold case witnesses to come forward.

Joey Catanzaro has, relatively recently, taken on the role of Director of Media and Corporate Communications, having previously served as the Senior Media Advisor for the Western Australian Police Minister in the Department of Premier and Cabinet. There he worked with key stakeholders to develop and execute high-profile communications strategies for the WA Premier, the WA Police Minister, the WA Police Commissioner, and the Western Australian Police Force. He developed and implemented the strategy for the WA Government’s 2023 UK and Ireland recruitment mission, which was picked up by more than 130 media outlets and reached an estimated audience of 21 million people. He describes the approach to WAPOL’s British Isles’ recruitment as “quite a cheeky strategy”. On his new role, he highlights the two key aims of his Department:  “to make sure that the trust in the Western Australia Police Force continues going forward”, and ensuring that the workforce “know that they’re being listened to, and being appreciated”. 

Anthony Robertson, as WAPOL Strategic Communications Officer, was Bernard’s key point of contact in WAPOL for the week-long programme PolicingTV filming in and around Perth, Western Australia. In an interview recorded on the steps of the Western Australia Parliament, alongside the Policing Minister and WAPOL Commissioner’s cold case witness announcement, and accompanied by State and Australian camera crews, TV presenters, as well as by cold case victims’ families and friends, Anthony describes in more detail the work of the Media and Comms Department – “very public facing, very much about being at one with the community”. He also describes the experience of filming with PolicingTV!

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