Runaway kids a nightmare for local cops
RUNAWAY kids and frustrated parents have become a nightmare for local police.
A lot of our time is spent dealing with children who either refuse to go home or some parents who don’t want them at home.
In just two days last month, local officers spent a total of 20 hours dealing with runaway children in several cases involving different families.Read more
It comes as children test boundaries and parents enforce rules, thus creating problems when there is no common ground and the kids take off.
We can’t leave runaway children unattended because police have a duty to provide public safety at all times.
People sometimes report to us if they see kids sitting in parks or outside shops at night when you might normally expect them to be home.
We also keep a watch for runaway children while out on patrol.
Some are regulars who we see all the time – it can be a merry-go-round.
We ask if they are OK and try to determine what the problem is and what we can do to help resolve it.
The best option is to negotiate a return home but this can be difficult if parents are telling us they don’t want the child back.
We can help by putting them in touch with the WA Department of Communities for counselling and other support services.
Police are only a short-term fix.
We can calm things down, but the long-term solution is not up to us.
Ultimately, the parents have legal responsibilities and need to find an answer.
Cool it on Julimar Road
WE ARE pleased to report that fatal traffic accidents throughout the Wheatbelt – which includes Toodyay – have gone from 19 road deaths to only two in the past 12 months.
It means that police strategies to help keep people alive are working.
However, excessive speed on Julimar Road remains a big problem.
A recent survey showed that 80 per cent of motorists in the 100km/h speed zone were travelling at 115km/h or more.
Apart from the danger of a kangaroo, stray cattle or even a feral pig suddenly jumping out or running across the road in front of you – particularly when travelling at high speed at night with little time to react – it is illegal and could cost your driver’s licence, if not your life.
Please slow down.
Naked poo protest
AN ITINERANT who arrived by taxi from Northam to beg for money and food in Toodyay ended up being a messy handful for local police.
The man went to a house on the edge of town when his taxi fare ran out and started begging for money.
When his request was declined, the man sat down, said “I live here now” and refused to leave until he was given some cash.
He then went to a Stirling Terrace café and threatened to smash all the windows until he was given free food and drink.
The man returned for breakfast next day and, when his demand for more food and drink was refused, started asking customers.
Police were called but the man left before he could be caught.
He was seen near the café later in the morning but fled down a nearby laneway.
The man was arrested when he tried to return to the same place for lunch.
He was charged with “threats to influence” and placed in a cell at Toodyay Police Station where he removed all his clothes, stuck his fingers down his throat to vomit and urinated and defecated on the floor.
He also smeared excrement on the cell walls and was refused bail after being charged with being disorderly in a police station.
The man continued to refuse to wear clothes and had to be transported naked in a police paddy wagon which he also soiled while travelling to the Perth watch house.
He remained in custody and appeared in the Perth court next morning.
A specialist biohazard cleaner had to be called to clean the police vehicle and cell.
Big guns response
WE RECEIVED dozens of calls in response to last month’s Police Beat column about how the law deals with firearms when their owners pass away.
We were able to help in many cases but at other times may have been away from the station when busy on other police work.
If you need help with disposing of firearms and we are not here to take your call, please contact Police Licensing Services (Firearms) on 1300 171 011 or at LicensingServicesFirearms@police.wa.gov.au for further advice and assistance.
As said last month, firearm licences do not transfer to relatives or the executors of deceased estates when gun owners die.
Until a firearms licence transfer has been sought and approved, the law requires the guns and any ammunition to be placed in secure commercial storage, such as with a licensed gun dealer, to avoid police seizure and possible destruction.
This enables us to keep track of all guns and ammunition in the community to prevent them from being stolen or falling into criminal hands.
Horses for courses
LOCAL residents must obtain permission from the Toodyay Race Club before using the local racecourse and its surrounds for exercise, sport or to take their dogs for a run.
Anyone wanting to use the racecourse grounds should first call Toodyay Race Club President John Prater on 0413 154 347.