Every vehicle stopped and nobody tested positive
LOCAL police stopped every vehicle entering and leaving Toodyay from the south in a five-hour traffic blitz last month.
Drivers and riders of more than 600 cars, trucks, motorcycles and buses were stopped for alcohol and/or drug tests.
This was a pleasing outcome because alcohol and drugs are a significant cause of crashes and Wheatbelt roads have the state’s highest fatality rate.Read more
Toodyay police stopped all passing vehicles from 9am to noon on Wednesday October 23 at the Tourist Information Bay in Stirling Terrace and from 1pm to 3pm at the Northam turn-off on Toodyay Road.
A small number of minor infringement notices and vehicle cautions were issued for defects such as fishing rod holders bolted onto the front of bull bars or LED light bars mounted illegally on top.
It’s illegal to fit anything that protrudes from the front or on top of a bull bar because it can cause further injury in the event of a crash.
Mounting equipment on top of a bull bar also reduces driver road visibility.
Many drivers don’t know this so we usually issue only a caution for the owner to get it fixed.
Another problem is expired vehicle registrations because windscreen stickers are no longer issued and we accept that motorists often forget that their registration has lapsed.
We mostly issue cautions unless the registration has lapsed for extended period.
People should note expiry dates in calendars or use a phone app to remind them when renewal is due.
All in all, we’re going alright in Toodyay.
THE CHANGE of season is expected to bring an increase in local police responses to sudden deaths in the community, particularly among older or unwell people.
Reports to police often follow a call from a visiting relative, neighbour or someone such as a Silver Chain support worker who finds a person after they have passed away at home.
Police have to move the body from where it was found to enable it to be transported to Perth for post-mortem examination.
It can be a particularly difficult task if a person has been deceased for several days.
In such cases a doctor’s medical certificate stating the cause of death is usually delayed pending further inquiries.
We recognise this can be a difficult time for families and we are there to help them through the process, if they ask.
We generally aim to notify families on the same day/night that a person has been found to have passed away and we encourage them to talk to us about what they may need to do and what happens next.
We can provide them with helpful information about coronial matters and how to get further assistance if required.
If a deceased person owned firearms, the law requires us to seize them until an executor of a will or public trustee decides whether to pass them onto someone else, offer them for sale or – if the firearms are not wanted – authorise their destruction.
Unforeseen matters can arise from a sudden death and we are always ready to help families deal with the consequences.
Red faces on Facebook
PEOPLE are urged to call police first before spreading false rumours on Facebook about suspicious behaviour.
This follows an incident last month when a red car broke down near the Duidgee Park children’s playground and public toilets.
The stranded motorist had no money to buy petrol or pay for accommodation, and had to sleep in his car while waiting for money due to arrive at the end of the week.
It prompted Facebook posts that publicly accused the man of suspicious behaviour.
As a result, some people went to Duidgee Park making threats.
Local police engaged with the man on a number of occasions, liaising with his family and friends to get him some help and, with no help coming and realising the man’s plight, we arranged for him to obtain a meal prepared by Toodyay Locals Care.
Eventually, to keep things calm a local officer police gave him fuel so he could leave town safely.
Rumour mongering by posting false accusations on Facebook can harm innocent people and ruin Toodyay’s reputation.
People should first call police if they have any concerns about anything they think may be suspicious.
WITH THE onset of the summer reptile season, police wish to remind people that officers are not qualified to handle snakes and should not be called if a person wants a snake to be removed from their property.
The correct handlers to call are registered local snake relocators, including Brian Foley on 0419 933 721 or John Hansen on 0491 228 742.
Left: Registered Chidlow snake handler Bob Cooper
FINALLY, we thank readers for responding to a call in last month’s Police Beat to ask police officers be a last resort when documents need to be witnessed or signed.
We have gone from getting dozens of front counter requests to sign documents every week to none in the past month.
This gives us more valuable time for local law enforcement and we thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation.
Certified documents can be signed by a range of people other than police, including pharmacists, priests, Justices of the Peace, shire councillors and CEOs, post office managers, real estate agents, vets and many others. Depending on the documents you need signed, police officers should be the last resort.