Feast of opera on at Beech­worth this week

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Rural Roundup -

AS the weather in the state starts to heat up, Vic­to­ria Po­lice is ramp­ing up ef­forts to pre­vent and pro­tect the com­mu­nity from fires which have been reck­lessly or in­ten­tion­ally lit.

Last sum­mer, 95 per cent of fire-re­lated of­fences were caused by reck­less ac­tions such as us­ing tools or ma­chin­ery dur­ing a fire dan­ger pe­riod or burn­ing off with­out a per­mit.

Vic­to­ria po­lice will have a height­ened fo­cus over sum­mer un­der a new frame­work set to boost the abil­ity to pre­vent, de­tect and re­spond to fires, which in­cludes a zero-tol­er­ance ap­proach to any be­hav­iour which may cause a fire.

Vic­to­ria Po­lice As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Michael Grainger said po­lice will use an in­tel­li­gence-led ap­proach to proac­tively mon­i­tor high risk ar­eas in an ef­fort to stop risky be­hav­iour be­fore it has dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences.

“Local po­lice will be ac­tive in as­sess­ing their local fire risks this sum­mer, us­ing in­tel­li­gence and local knowl­edge to task and re­source ef­fec­tively,” AC Grainger said.

“De­lib­er­ate and reck­less be­hav­iour in­volv­ing fire can re­sult in a huge cost to the com­mu­nity through loss of life, de­struc­tion of prop­erty and the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Year on year po­lice see far too many peo­ple tak­ing part in care­less and reck­less be­hav­iour that re­sults in fires dur­ing the sum­mer pe­riod.

“A reck­lessly lit fire such as fail­ing to prop­erly ex­tin­guish a camp­fire is a crime that car­ries se­vere penal­ties.”

“It’s ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to be mind­ful of their ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing fire dan­ger pe­ri­ods, oth­er­wise your ac­tions could re­sult in the cause of a bush­fire.”

Vic­to­ria Po­lice will adopt this ap­proach to prevent­ing, de­tect­ing and re­spond­ing to sus­pi­cious fires all year round, but the fo­cus will be height­ened dur­ing the warmer months.

Any­one found guilty of reck­lessly or in­ten­tion­ally caus­ing a bush­fire faces a penalty of up to 15 years im­pris­on­ment.

Light­ing a fire on a to­tal fire ban day can also at­tract a fine of around $37,000 or up to two years in jail.

AC Grainger also iden­ti­fied the sig­nif­i­cant role the com­mu­nity and emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel play in help­ing po­lice de­tect and pre­vent fires.

“The in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by mem­bers of the pub­lic is a con­tem­po­rary and real-time source of in­tel­li­gence that po­lice use on a daily ba­sis.”

Any­one who wit­nesses sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour as it is oc­cur­ring should call Triple Zero (000) and any­one with any in­for­ma­tion should con­tact Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000 or sub­mit a con­fi­den­tial re­port to www. crimestop­persvic.com.au.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.