Police Beat

Emails, FB, texts breach violence restraining orders

THREE breaches of violence restraining orders last month have prompted Toodyay police to warn potential offenders to respect the law or face heavy fines or jail.
“Domestic violence is a big local issue,” Acting Sgt Geoff Butler said, pointing to a stack of files at Toodyay Police Station.

“The cause is usually a relationship breakdown – sometimes because of drink or drugs – and one or both sides goes to court to obtain a violence restraining order against the other. 

“Parents in child custody disputes sometimes seek violence retraining orders to prevent access to kids. 

“Most court orders are issued against men, and the most common breach is by electronic means such as Facebook, email or text messages. 

“Two of the three recent cases were fathers trying to get in touch with their children. 

“People in this situation need to be aware that any kind of contact can be a breach.” 

Acting Sgt Butler said the maximum penalty was a fine of up to $6000, two years’ jail, or both. 

In an earlier case known to Toodyay police, a man was jailed for nearly a year for three consecutive breaches of a violence restraining order. 

“The first time he was fined $750, the second time he received a six months’ suspended jail sentence and the third time – for another breach just two days later – he was jailed for 11 months,” Acting Sgt Butler said. 

Cruising out of control 

OWNERS of older cars with early forms of cruise control are advised to exercise caution in wet weather. 

This follows a crash in Julimar Road last month when the driver lost control of an early model sedan in wet weather after it aquaplaned on a pool of water and skidded off the road. 

The shaken driver was not injured but the car was damaged. 

“It was fitted with an older form of cruise control that attempts to maintain speed by accelerating when the drive wheels lose traction,” Acting Sgt Butler said.“New vehicles are fitted with inbuilt safety devices to prevent the likelihood of this occurring. 

“All motorists need to be careful in the wet – particularly if road surfaces are oily after a dry spell.” 

School holiday care 

MOTORISTS are also being urged to take extra care during school holidays, which run from Monday July 3 to Sunday July 16. 

Parents are also encouraged to keep track of their children so that they stay out of trouble away from the classroom. 

Town security upgrade 

NEW VIDEO cameras with high-definition sensors and number plate recognition are being installed at key points around town. 

The replacement cameras, which have which havebeen bought by the Shire of Toodyay, are positioned to monitor all vehicles entering and leaving town as well as the length of Stirling Terrace and public car parks in Charcoal Lane and at Toodyay Railway Station.

The video cameras send live images to a large multi-display screen at Toodyay Police Station and also record archive footage with a time and date stamp to track vehicles and people of interest to police.

Apart from providing higher resolutionsecurity, the new cameras are also fitted with number plate recognition to identify all vehicles that enter or leave town from any direction.

More traffic stops 

TOODYAY police are joining a big traffic enforcement push over the next couple of months.

“We will continue to target drink and drug drivers and also be checking vehicles for mechanical defects,” Acting Sgt Butler said.

“Roadside stops for breath tests will include vehicle registration and driver’s licence checks, broken lights, bald tyres, noisy exhausts, cracked windscreens and anything else that might make a vehicle unsafe to drive.

“We will also do cursory checks for vehicles that may be carrying illegal drugs. “Most vehicles around town are pretty good mechanically but one or two are a problem.

“A vehicle defect won’t necessarily lead to a penalty but we will offer advice on what needs to be done so the owner can fix it before it becomes a serious problem.

“And if people want to spend a few hours drinking at the pub – that’s fine, as long as they get a lift home or walk.

“Those who try to get back behind the wheel run an increasingly high risk of a big fine, demerit points, possible loss of their driver’s licence and even jail.”

Computer meltdown 

LOCAL businesses and other computer users are encouraged to check that their software is always up-to-date and equipped with the latest anti-virus protection following a spate of costly cyber attacks around the world.

Acting Sgt Butler said recent ‘ransomware’ attacks on companies such as chocolatemaker Cadburys in Australia meant that computer security was important at all levels.

‘Ransomware’ is a kind of malicious software that blocks access to the victim’s data and threatens to publish or delete it until a ransom is paid.

The offending software is often disguisedas a legitimate file that a computer user is tricked into downloading or opening when it arrives as an email attachment.

“It corrupts everything,” Acting Sgt Butler said.

“You basically have to strip everything out of your computer or throw it away.

“The best protection is to keep your Windows or other software up to date and check that your anti-virus protection is also up to date.”

 



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