Po­lice praise Aus­tralia Day rev­ellers

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Australia Day - ■ Ali­cia Perera

Po­lice across the West Pil­bara re­ported no ar­rests dur­ing Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tions on what they said was an un­usu­ally quiet na­tional hol­i­day last Tues­day.

Sta­tions in the Shires of Ash­bur­ton and Ex­mouth had no re­ported in­ci­dents, while the small num­ber of ar­rests Kar­ratha and Roe­bourne forces made were un­re­lated to the Aus­tralia Day fes­tiv­i­ties.

Kar­ratha po­lice of­fi­cer-in­charge Ge­off Cramp said they had seen no ma­jor trou­ble on pa­trol at lo­cal li­censed premises and the Leisure­plex.

“Ev­ery­one was very well­be­haved and we had no sig­nif­i­cant in­ci­dents,” he said.

“Our thanks to the com­mu­nity for their ef­forts.”

It came as a re­lief for Kar­ratha po­lice af­ter a dif­fi­cult Aus­tralia Day last year, when there was an as­sault at the Dampier Mer­maid Ho­tel that left a 54-year-old man in a coma.

He later died from his in­juries, and the al­leged of­fender is ap­pear­ing be­fore the WA Supreme Court charged with as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing death.

Roe­bourne po­lice of­fi­cer-in­charge Gemma Hen­ni­gan said they had made no ar­rests for an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour in their pa­trols around town, where there were few peo­ple around.

“Aus­tralia Day is the busiest day for po­lice, es­pe­cially in the metro area,” she said. “It’s busier than New Year’s Eve.

“So (no ar­rests) is pretty un­heard of for Aus­tralia Day.”

Po­lice in Onslow, Tom Price, Parabur­doo and Ex­mouth also re­ported well-be­haved crowds and no ar­rests.

Se­nior Con­sta­ble Ian Cliffe said Pil­bara traf­fic po­lice had caught a small num­ber of peo­ple driv­ing at ex­ces­sive speeds and un­der the in­flu­ence, who were pe­nalised with in­fringe­ments or court sum­monses, “but noth­ing out of the or­di­nary”.

“Gen­er­ally it was a good day, and the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple did the right thing,” he said.

Sen. Sgt Cramp said im­proved crowd be­hav­iour on Aus­tralia Day was a re­sult of bet­ter pub­lic aware­ness.

“I think peo­ple are be­com­ing a lot more re­spon­si­ble on Aus­tralia Day,” he said. “They’ve got events to at­tend and they were well-man­aged. I think the mes­sage has got through.”

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