New cameras track quarantine breaches
TOODYAY police have taken delivery of a new patrol car fitted with cameras that can automatically detect motorists who may be breaching mandatory Covid-19 quarantine restrictions.
The new British-made cameras can also automatically detect unregistered vehicles, unlicensed drivers and vehicle owners with unpaid fines or outstanding arrest warrants.
Covid-19 breaches can now be detected by local officers because State Health Department quarantine records have been linked to WA police computers.
Toodyay’s new Holden Commodore patrol car has cameras that face forwards and sideways.
It can check parked vehicles while passing through car parks as well as vehicles travelling on local roads.Read more
The new system can trigger an instant alert that enables officers to respond immediately or call for back-up.
It means Toodyay police no longer have to manually enter registration details into an on-board computer to check the status of vehicles and drivers on local roads.
The new equipment captures information on a hard drive which can also be used to search for particular registration numbers.
It is being used in tandem with number plate recognition software installed on video security cameras mounted at street locations throughout the town.
The cameras are owned by the Shire of Toodyay and display live and recorded video images on multi-display screens inside Toodyay Police Station.
They can be used to trace motorists driving through Toodyay at any time of the day or night, seven days a week.
In a recent demonstration, The Herald editor’s vehicle registration number was entered into the Toodyay police computer.
It produced a screen list of more than 40 date-stamped images of his Holden Rodeo ute being driven through the town at various times during the previous month.
The same software is being used to trace police suspects who may be stopping in or passing through town.
INTERNET and phone fraud is keeping Toodyay officers busy.
We have received calls from local residents saying they have been warned on the phone that a police warrant has been issued for unpaid fines and they need to pay immediately to avoid arrest and jail.
Some of the demands are for thousands of dollars.
Please be aware that police will never phone people with that kind of warning.
The same applies to demands for payment from callers claiming to be from the Australia Tax Office.
Fraudulent calls often originate from overseas, and others from interstate.
Some criminals use online software to mask their location and dupe recipients into thinking the call is from a local number.
One local person who received a demand for money from what looked like a local number called it back after hanging up and got a Harvey Norman store.
If you get a call like that, contact police or the Federal Government Australian Cyber Security Centre at cyber.gov.au.
It’s an offence under federal law to use the phone service for fraudulent purposes.
A MAN who stole a red ute from Toodyay’s main street and was wrestled to the ground by onlookers after seriously injuring another motorist has been jailed for 13 months.
The 24-year-old Northam man spent four months on the run after he failed to appear in court last January to answer four charges arising from the August 2019 incident.
He then went on a crime spree and committed another 20 offences – mostly Perth burglaries and more car thefts – before he was found hiding in Northam in May.
The Toodyay car theft was shown on Perth TV news when dramatic video footage showed the ute being stolen from Toodyay Autos, colliding with two other passenger cars and the offender wrestled to the ground by onlookers as local police arrived at the scene to arrest him.
Toodyay Sen. Const. Gary Ferguson, who led the police investigation, said the offender pleaded guilty to all charges in the Perth Magistrates Court last month.
The Toodyay offences were:
- car theft;
- dangerous driving causing bodily harm in a collision;
- driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and,
- unlicensed driving.
A woman whose car was hit by the stolen vehicle was taken to hospital with head injuries.
Her car and another vehicle were seriously damaged and the $6000 stolen ute was a write off.
FARMERS are urged to secure their bulk fuel after 2000 litres of diesel was stolen from two tanks in Coondle.
The tanks were not visible from the road and thieves drove about 500m onto the property to gain access.
The theft was not noticed until the farmer tried to refuel his machinery and realised the diesel was gone.
We remind everyone that if you see anything suspicious please report it to us so we can check if an offence is being committed.
A lot of farm machinery and fuel is lying dormant at the moment because of the break between winter seeding and the summer harvest and needs to be secured.
There were no people undergoing police monitoring for Covid-19 virus quarantine in the Toodyay area at the start of this month, although that may change depending in interstate flight arrivals.
Police monitoring of about 10 Toodyay people last month – mostly fly-in fly-out workers – resulted in all being cleared to return to the community when none tested positive for the virus at the end of their 14-day mandatory State Government quarantine.
THE QUEEN’S Birthday long weekend at the end of this month (Friday September 25 to Monday September 28 inclusive) will attract double demerit points for breaches of road traffic rules.
This includes double demerits for drink or drug driving, speeding and failure to wear seat belts.
In addition, penalties for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving have increased this month from $400 to $1000 and demerits have increased from three to four points – or eight points over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
Loss of 12 demerit points within three-years causes automatic loss of an ordinary driver’s licence.
Probationary drivers lose their licence after forfeiting eight points.
This means that P-plate motorists caught using a mobile phone while driving on the holiday long weekend will automatically lose their licences for three years.