Tactical switch snares drink, drug drivers
A CHANGE in police tactics has led to a significant increase in the number of drink and drug drivers caught on local roads.
It followed a five-hour blitz last month when police stopped more than 600 drivers but none tested positive for drink or drug driving.
A switch to targeting suspected potential drink and drug drivers resulted in more than half a dozen motorists testing positive – an 85 per cent successful detection rate.Read more
Officers used local intelligence reports, public calls to Crime Stoppers WA and police computer information to target the likely offenders.
One targeted driver registered a mid-afternoon blood alcohol reading of 0.16 per cent, for which the minimum penalty is a 10-month driving ban and $900 fine.
Some targeted drivers tested positive for both cannabis and methamphetamine.
Drink and drug drivers were stopped last month in Stirling Terrace, Toodyay Road and in the town’s backstreets.
It’s not uncommon for police to find motorists driving over the limit at 10.30 in the morning or to test positive for both cannabis and methamphetamine.
This is a danger to all road users and will not be tolerated.
They have no consideration for anyone because they are incapable of forming rational thought while affected by drugs and or alcohol.
It’s not a case of police harassment by targeting likely offenders but working with the community to help keep everyone safe.
Every local police vehicle carries sealed saliva drug test kits (above) and random breath testing equipment. “Anywhere, anytime.”
A disposable swab is used to wipe a motorist’s tongue, and the swab is inserted into an accompanying plastic sleeve to test for methamphetamine, cannabis or both.
If either or both drugs are detected, the driver is issued a requirement to attend the police station to provide a second saliva sample for further analysis at the state government’s ChemCentre laboratory.
Drivers who decline to accompany or complete a second test are charged with an offence and summonsed to appear in court.
Court outcomes show a strong chance of conviction.
The view inside Toodyay Police Station from a new street camera near the Victoria Hotel.
New cameras nail offender
TOODYAY’S new shire-owned street cameras have helped charge a Perth man with several traffic offences.
The new video surveillance network which cost more than $300,000 was switched on last month after the failure of a previous system which left monitor screens inside Toodyay Police Station blank for several weeks.
The new 40-plus camera system doubles the capacity of the previous one and adds number plate recognition, which led to a successful joint police action last month.
Local police were alerted to a vehicle of interest leaving Northam and Toodyay’s new number plate recognition cameras captured the vehicle passing through town.
A search of a new video database installed inside the Toodyay Police Station provided the time, date and street.
The information was sent to metropolitan police who traced the driver, aged in his mid-20s, to a Perth address where he was charged with driving without a licence, driving an unregistered vehicle and other minor traffic breaches.
The new video security system is a significant improvement for location, visibility and usability.
Local police are now also able to control the cameras and download information any time inside the police station instead of having to wait to obtain it from the shire during business hours.
Particular areas can now be checked at certain times, such as the footbridge over the Avon River before and after school, local parks or anywhere day or night in the town’s shopping precinct, parking areas and other areas of greatest potential risk.
We recognise and appreciate the shire’s investment in this project for the betterment of the community – it’s a much better system.
Time to quit old country ways
LOCAL police want to issue a timely reminder to people to lock their homes and vehicles and avoid being complacent.
People are urged to end the old country habit of leaving their houses open when they go out and leaving cars unlocked with keys in the ignition at home or when parked in the street.
Police have received recent reports of strangers seen on people’s property, keys taken from a tractor parked on a farm and interference with the ignition of a quad bike.
Police have also seen cases of cars being stolen with keys left in the ignition.
Apart from potential damage, it may also be difficult to claim insurance for any loss.
If something doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t and we urge all suspicious activity to be reported to police.