Sanctuary Point hoons put under the spotlight

HOONISH driving behaviour was the target of a special Shoalhaven police operation at Sanctuary Point at the weekend.

Drink and drug driving, speeding, burnouts and defective vehicles were also the focus of the three-day operation.

A number of officers from the Shoalhaven Local Command, including highway patrol, officers from the Nowra and Huskisson sectors, the Crime Management Unit and Target Arrest Group (TAG) took part in the operation.

Staff from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) also set up a mobile inspection area, where a number of vehicles’ roadworthiness was put under the microscope.

Throughout the operation 126 mobile random breath tests were undertaken, which resulted in four positive tests, which according to Shoalhaven LAC Commander, Superintendent Steve Hegarty was a good result but still four too many.

Of the positive tests two were low range and two mid range.

Six positive drug driving tests for methamphetamines and cannabis were also recorded.

Forty-six traffic infringements were issued, including five for speeding, one for performing a burnout, three for being unlicensed drivers, nine for having unregistered and uninsured vehicles, while one unaccompanied learner driver was also detected.

That driver had their licence suspended, as did one of the mid range drink drive offenders.

RMS staff and police inspected a number of vehicles for roadworthiness, with 11 defective vehicles found.

Two were issued with major grounded defects, with the owners having to organise for the vehicles to be towed away,

Another six were issued with major defect notices due to serious road safety issues.

Officers were also involved in a pursuit on Saturday night.

A vehicle was seen performing a traffic offence on the Wool Road just before 10pm.

Police started a pursuit but terminated the chase in Larmer Avenue shortly after due to safety concerns.

Investigations into that incident are continuing.

The operation started Thursday afternoon and included a number of officers at the Sanctuary Point shops talking with shop owners and locals about any issues they had in the area.

“One of the biggest issue that keeps getting raised with us from the Sanctuary Point area is hoonish behaviour in cars and driving habits,” Supt Hegarty said.

“It has been an ongoing issue raised through various community meetings.

“And that was what we targeted last weekend.

“We held similar operations in June/July this year and in August, with good results.

“Leading up to this operation we spoke to the community and undertook community engagement activities. We were given some information and leads which we followed up.

“We are looking to engage the community more often. The chamber of commerce etc to get their feelings.”

He said footage was also obtain during the operation from CCTV of a vehicle performing a burnout which would also be investigated.

“We will take these results and compare them to our other operations,” he said.

“This will be an ongoing. We will be conducting similar operations again in coming months.”

Local business owner Sean Bell was impressed to see the police out on the beat.

“It’s great to see a higher police presence in the area and I believe it has led to some changes around here,” he said.

“Things have got better.

“It’s good to see officers talking to people, getting feedback.”

He did say he would like to see more CCTV cameras installed in the area, especially at the rear of the shops and possibly at the skate park.

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