WALLSEND residents have turned to the power of the pen in an effort to reopen a police station in their area.
To date, about 9500 residents from Wallsend and neighbouring suburbs have signed a petition calling for action.
Two of those who have signed are Margaret Micallef, of Wallsend, and Shirley Pettett, of Waratah.
They often feel unsafe and believe a police station in Wallsend is necessary to reduce the crime rate in the area.
"It's always better to have police patrolling the area as a deterrent for crime and violence," Mrs Micallef said.
Another petition supporter, Max McCorkell, who owns 4 Your Home in Wallsend, said he had experienced two robberies in the past five months and had waited up to four hours for police assistance on one occasion.
"We need a police presence so we aren't such an easy target for criminals," he said.
Wallsend state MP Sonia Hornery started the petition in response to community pleas.
Ms Hornery said the wait for police assistance was not good enough as the response at the best was half an hour.
She said residents often waited for up to three hours for police.
Ms Hornery said the petition had the support of the local police.
"It's important for us to work together to put the pressure on government to recognise the benefits of having a police station in the community," she said.
Ten thousand signatures are needed for the petition to be debated in State Parliament.
Last week Ms Hornery was at Jesmond Shopping Centre collecting more signatures and hopes to present the petition when Parliament resumes on February 25.
■ To sign the petition phone 4950 0955 or visit Ms Hornery's office at Suite 3, 30 Dan Rees Street, Wallsend.