A TOODYAY man was arrested and spent the night in Perth police lock-up after he and another man jumped off Newcastle Bridge at the height of last month’s flood.
They were among at least six local adults warned about putting lives at risk during the flood, in which two people died elsewhere in WA.
The first man jumped off Newcastle Bridge in front of dozens of onlookers around lunchtime on Sunday February 12 when floodwaters were at their peak. He landed safely and made it to the river bank.
The second man who jumped was swept away into a clump of trees downstream and disappeared from sight. He emerged uninjured soon after and waded ashore after fears he may have been swept away and drowned.
“The man was obstructive and aggressive when questioned by police, and then became violent,” Toodyay police chief Sgt Warren Conder said.
“He was arrested, charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing police and spent the night in custody before pleading guilty to the charges.
“Jumping off the bridge was a very stupid thing to do – he put at risk his own life and potentially the lives of others who may have had to try to rescue him.”
New hi-tech surveillance
NEW infra-red night vision security cameras worth a total of $20,000 are being installed in Toodyay to help police better identify and track offenders.
Upgraded equipment is being installed at the Goomalling Road intersection, Charcoal Lane near the IGA store, Toodyay Fire Station and Freemasons Hotel.
The new cameras have high-definition capability and automatic number plate recognition.
Individual cameras can also detect up to nine points of interest and zoom into each point automatically on rotation.
Each camera is linked to a display inside Toodyay Police Station. “It will remove blind spots and help us more easily identify vehicles of interest and trace their owners,” Sgt Conder said.
Meth found in car accident
A MINOR traffic accident in Henry Street in which a man was injured when pinned between a slow-moving car and a pole resulted in an arrest after a trafficable quantity of methamphetamine (ice) was allegedly found in the vehicle.
Police and a St John Ambulance crew attended the scene at about 10.30am on Tuesday February 7 after the man tried to get out of the car while it was reversing and injured himself.
A police search of the car found snap-lock bags of white crystals and cash, and the man was arrested and charged with drug dealing.
He was remanded in custody pending a court appearance.
Drug-driving takes over
DRUG DRIVING is replacing drink driving as a major traffic offence in Toodyay.
“You’ll always get more speeders than drugor drink drivers but we get at least one drug driver a week,” Sgt Conder said.
“It’s usually for methamphetamine but can also be cannabis – and driving with both is not uncommon.
“It’s becoming so prevalent that stopping drug drivers is like shooting fish in a barrel – but we can’t be on the street stopping cars all the time because of other demands on police time and resources.
“However, our key focus this month is more traffic stops in Toodyay.”
Lock up your guns
POLICE ARE appealing for local gun owners to ensure their firearms are registered and secured correctly according to State legislation.
“We are about to start random inspections on properties over the next three months,” Sgt Conder said.
“The last time we did this, we visited 40 properties, found 20 breaches, charged 12 people and cautioned eight.
“I expect a better response this time and hope for a zero result.”
Sgt Conder said most firearms used by WA criminals to commit offences were stolen from regional properties.
They included .22 rifles normally used for shooting rabbits and high-powered .223 firearms used to control kangaroos.
Grandies get the goods
ABOUT 20 Toodyay senior citizens attended a second ‘Coffee with the Cops’ at the Cola Café in Stirling Terrace last month.
Topics included the overall crime scene in Toodyay and how grandparents can respond to domestic violence and drug abuse among younger family members.
“We’ll do another one in about six monthsand broaden it so anyone can attend,’ Sgt Conder said.
Unlicensed dirt bikes at risk
PEOPLE riding unlicensed dirt bikes on public roads and tracks face having their machines impounded under new State laws.
Police can impound an unlicensed motorcycle or issue a surrender notice if it is reasonably suspected to have been used on a road, including when riding between properties.
The law includes unlicensed mini-bikes ridden by young people.
“Police don’t need to see an unlicensed motorcycle being ridden but can act on a video of it entering or leaving a property,” Sgt Conder said.
“This can result in a police notice to surrender an unlicensed motorcycle within seven days, or a fine for non-compliance".