A huge slew of annoucements today but most of them bad links. Here’s what’s working to date (UPDATE: Just waiting for one about kids in cars now):
1. ACT Policing has not gone on hols as expected:
- ACT Policing apprehended 28 drink-drivers over the weekend, despite warning the Canberra public late last week that a concerted campaign would be in place.
Police conducted 527 breath tests from Friday evening through to Sunday morning. Some of the drivers who recorded positive readings told police they had heard a drink-drive campaign would be conducted but had chosen to ignore the warning.
The weekend’s high number of drink-drivers comes after a dismal result for the six months to the end of 2008, in which police apprehended 932 motorists for driving with a blood alcohol content above the prescribed level – 221 more than for the same period in 2007.
During the Friday (January 9) night campaign, it was found that one in every 14 drivers stopped by police had an excessive blood alcohol reading.
Traffic Operations Sergeant Ron Melis, who had overseen the campaign, said that he was appalled at the outcome.
“It’s particularly disturbing when police conducting the screening tests are told by drivers they knew there was going to be a drink-drive campaign. But in some cases, that didn’t affect driver behaviour; they drank and drove anyway,” Sgt Melis said.
“In the interests of road safety and saving people’s lives, all that the police can do is continue in our efforts to find these drink-drivers, no matter whether they are in Canberra, and put them before the court.”
- ACT Policing will summons a 37-year-old Florey man to appear before the ACT Magistrates Court after he was charged with riding a bicycle while exceeding the prescribed content of alcohol in Mitchell on Sunday (January 4).
Around 4pm, at the end of the Summernats festival, police observed the man crossing in front of vehicles on a bicycle and riding on the wrong side of the road, on Flemington Road and then Northbourne Avenue, causing several motorists to take avoiding action.
The rider was seen to be weaving and unsteady as he rode and police assessed him as danger to himself and other road users. Police stopped the rider, who returned a positive reading during a roadside screening test. He later returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.138.
ACT Policing’s Traffic Superintendent Mark Colbran said this incident should serve as a reminder that drink-driving laws apply to all road users, including bicycle riders.
“When riding a bicycle on the streets, riders are required to obey all the road rules, in the same way drivers are,” Supt Colbran said.
“Bicycle riders are involved in serious collisions every year. Not only do drivers need to be aware of bicycle riders, riders need to obey all road rules on public streets including the drink driving laws.”
In the ACT, riding a bicycle or an animal on a public street/place while under the influence of intoxicating liquor can result in a fine of $5,000 or six months’ imprisonment, or both. Under the legislation, an animal includes a horse, cow or sheep.
(Anyone for drunken dog riding?)
- ACT Policing is investigating a suspicious fire at a Lyons residential apartment block early today (Monday, January 12).
About 1.50am, police attended Block 1 of the Freycinet Apartments, Burnie Street, Lyons after a report of a fire at the location.
Upon police arrival, ACT Fire Brigade was in attendance and residents had been evacuated ensuring their safety until the fire was brought under control.
An elderly resident was treated for an asthma attack at the scene by ACT Ambulance, no other persons were injured.
The fire was contained to a lift and initial assessment by police and fire investigators deemed the fires as suspicious.
AFP Forensic Services attended the scene and will work with ACT Fire Investigators to determine the cause of the fire.
- ACT Policing has renewed its appeal for information to assist its ongoing investigation into the death of a Canberra woman in her Gordon home five years ago.
The body of Susan Winburn, 45, was found in the bathtub of her Knoke Ave, Gordon, home around noon on January 13, 2004.
Ms Winburn died of a neck compression. Despite an extensive investigation, no-one has yet been charged with her murder.
In November 2005, a $250,000 reward was offered by the ACT Government to person(s) who provided information which would lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the murder.
The AFP has also requested the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions to indemnify and not prosecute any accomplice, not being the person who actually took part in the murder.
Territory Investigation Group Detective Sergeant Chris Morgan said that police are convinced that there are people living in the Canberra community who have direct knowledge of who is responsible for the murder.
“This remains an active investigation and police have followed up numerous lines of enquiry. We certainly won’t give up until the person responsible is found and brought before the court,” Detective Sergeant Morgan said.
“This is a heinous crime which has grieved the family for years. While police are doing all they can from an investigative viewpoint, we would welcome any witnesses or information about the case which has not yet been provided.”
- ACT Policing is investigating an incident in Kambah on Saturday (January 10) in which a driver fled the scene of a collision.
About 9.30pm a white Ford Falcon sedan travelling northeast on Athllon Drive and a grey coloured Toyota Corolla sedan travelling south on Vosper Street collided. The Toyota was moving across the northeast bound lane of Athllon Drive turning right when the Ford collided into the rear driver’s side of the Toyota.
The Toyota came to a stop on the grassed median strip. The driver of the Ford stopped but failed to assist occupants of the Toyota or exchange details then drove off continuing northeast on Athllon Drive.
The 60-year-old female driver and a 67-year-old male passenger of the Toyota (both from Western Australia) were taken by ACT Ambulance Services to the Canberra Hospital. The woman suffered a fractured neck while the man had bruising.
- ACT Policing is seeking witnesses to arson attacks on palm trees and a hedge in the Yarralumla, Red Hill and Deakin areas last night (Sunday, January 11).
While no-one was injured, police are concerned that this apparently random and senseless form of property damage may result in fire spreading to residences or nearby property.
In the most recent incident, police were called to Investigator St in Red Hill last night when a large palm tree appeared to have been deliberately lit. ACT Fire Brigade attended and extinguished the fire.
This followed on from similar but separate incidents in the preceding hour in both Yarralumla and Deakin, where other palm trees were targeted and deliberately lit. These fires were also extinguished by ACT Fire Brigade.
Around 11.40pm, patrolling police extinguished a small fire in a hedge in Mugga Way, Red Hill. Given the time of the incident, police believe the same person(s) may have been responsible.
Police also believe these incidents may be linked to tree fires suspected to have been deliberately lit in the Queanbeyan area on the same day.
- Investigators from ACT Policing and the ACT Office of Regulatory Services are examining the scene of an incident in which a 57-year-old Symonston man died today (January 13).
Around 4.50am the man was operating a vehicle loading crane attached to the back of a truck behind the Evatt Shops on Heydon Place.
Initial investigations indicate that the man was crushed by the arm of the crane as he was using it to load a hopper onto the back of the truck. He died at the scene.
ACT Policing Detectives and ACT Work Cover Inspectors are investigating the incident and a report will be prepared for the ACT Coroner.
8. Spence robbery:
- ACT Policing has arrested a 20-year-old Spence man after a robbery at the 5-Star Supermarket, Copeland Drive, Spence yesterday (Monday, January 12).
Police will allege that at about 3.20pm, the alleged offender attempted to exit the supermarket in possession of a 700ml bottle of McKenna Creek Bourbon.
The store owner confronted the male, preventing him from exiting the store. The alleged offender threatened him with a stick and pushed him to the ground before fleeing the store in the direction of Edmunds Place, Spence.
About 3.50pm police observed a male person matching the description of the offender crossing Spence Neighbourhood oval. The male was arrested and conveyed to the Regional Watch House.
The male will appear in the ACT Magistrates Court today on robbery and theft charges.
- ACT Policing is seeking witnesses to an incident at Fadden Primary School earlier today (Tuesday, January 13) in which the premises was burgled and property damaged.
Police attended the school around 3.40am when it was found that forced entry had been gained to the canteen and a classroom. Paint and fertiliser had been scattered through the classroom. Seven windows on the north side of the school had also been broken.
Regular patrols of schools are continuing throughout the school holiday period and police are again reminding residents who live near schools that any suspicious or criminal behaviour should be reported to Police Operations immediately on 131-444.
If you can help police contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers website on www.act.crimestoppers.com.au.