Two disqualified drivers – one arrested following an alleged police pursuit and the other barred from driving until 2048 – will face court today charged following proactive patrols on the final day of Operation Stay Alert.
Operation Stay Alert began at midnight on Friday (5 June 2020) and concluded at 11.59pm yesterday (Monday 8 June 2020).
During the high-visibility operation, officers were targeting speeding, drink and drug driving, driving while fatigued, mobile phone, helmet and other traffic offences.
Just after 11pm yesterday, officers were proactively patrolling the Riverwood area, when they stopped a Mitsubishi Lancer sedan on Belmore Road for a random breath test.
As officers approached the vehicle, the sedan allegedly sped off and a police pursuit commenced.
During the pursuit, it will be alleged that the vehicle drove at police on Cairns Street. The pursuit was terminated due to safety concerns.
A short time later, the vehicle was located on Eldon Street, Riverwood. During a search of the vehicle, police located 5L of a liquid believed to be GBL and a large amount of property believed to have been stolen. These items were seized to undergo forensic examination.
Following a short foot pursuit, officers arrested the passenger, a 40-year-old Wiley Park man in a nearby backyard.
In a separate backyard, officers arrested the driver, a 50-year-old Bankstown man, and during a search of the man, seized a knife.
The driver, who is disqualified from driving until 2022, also underwent blood and urine testing at St George Hospital.
He was then taken to Kogarah Police Station, where he was charged with police pursuit – not stop – drive dangerously, drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, operate vehicle so driving wheels undergo loss of traction, use offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, custody of knife in public place, and enter enclosed land without lawful excuse.
The 40-year-old man was taken to Kogarah Police Station, where he was charged with breach of bail and possess prescribed restricted substance.
Both men were refused bail to appear at Central Local Court today (Tuesday 9 June 2020).
Investigations are continuing.
In a separate incident, officers were conducting stationary random breath and drug testing on the Great Western Highway at Blacktown about 10.40am yesterday.
A Mazda 6 sedan was observed trying to avoid the testing site and was stopped on nearby Walters Road.
Officers spoke with the driver, a 36-year-old man, who could not produce his licence. Subsequent checks revealed the man had been disqualified from driving until 2048.
The man underwent a random drug test, which allegedly returned a positive result.
He was arrested and taken to Blacktown Police Station, where he underwent a secondary oral fluid test, which allegedly returned a positive result for methylamphetamine.
The Nelson man was charged with drive while disqualified and refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court today.
Inquiries into this incident are continuing.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, praised the work of responding officers.
“What a disgrace to see drivers – who are disqualified and should not be driving on our roads – engaging in police pursuits and allegedly driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
“While the rest of the state abides by the road rules, these drivers have put other road users, including police officers, at risk with their recklessness.
“Operation Stay Alert has since concluded but rest assured – we will continue to have our officers proactively patrolling the streets to take the appropriate action against those who drive dangerously.”
Other incidents of note during day four of Operation Stay Alert:
- Just before 11.30pm yesterday, officers detected a hatchback travelling 120km/hr in a 60km/hr zone on Havannah Street, Bathurst. When the vehicle failed to stop, a police pursuit was initiated. It was later terminated due to safety concerns. The vehicle was later found abandoned on Bishop Street and the driver, a 34-year-old Bathurst man, found hiding behind parked cars. During a search of the man, police located and seized $11,900 in cash, three knives and prohibited drugs. Subsequent checks reveal the man’s licence was disqualified. He was arrested and taken to Bathurst Police Station, where he was charged with police pursuit – not stop – drive dangerously, drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous, goods in personal custody suspected being stolen, possess prohibited drug, custody of knife in public place, and steal motor vehicle. He was refused bail to appear at Dubbo Local Court today.
- About 4.10pm yesterday, officers were patrolling the Doonside area, when they spotted a Toyota Hiace van, that had been reported stolen, driving on Rosenthal Street. Officers approached the vehicle and spoke to the driver – a 27-year-old man. He allegedly could not produce a driver’s licence. During a search of the vehicle, police located and seized cannabis and several knives. The driver and passenger – a 48-year-old woman – were both arrested and taken to Mt Druitt Police Station. The man was charged with drive conveyance taken without consent of owner, possess prohibited drug, and never licensed person drive vehicle on road. He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Blacktown Local Court on the Thursday 13 August 2020. The woman was charged with custody of knife in public place and be carried in conveyance taken without consent of owner. She was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Mt Druitt Local Court on Wednesday 22 July 2020.
- About 10.15pm yesterday, officers were patrolling the Albury area, when they observed a Holden Commodore sedan driving in an erratic manner. The vehicle was stopped on Mate Street, and officers spoke to the driver, a 22-year-old Victorian man. Subsequent checks revealed the man did not hold a driver’s licence. He was issued an infringement notice for driving while being unlicensed for class of vehicle. A short time later, the sedan was stopped again by police with the 22-year-old man allegedly driving the vehicle. He underwent a random breath test, which allegedly returned a positive result. He was arrested and taken to Albury Police Station, where he underwent a breath analysis that returned an alleged reading of 0.108. He was charged with driving with mid-range PCA and driving while unlicensed. He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Albury Local Court on Monday 3 August 2020.
- Just before 3pm yesterday, police detected a Hyundai sedan travelling at 139km/hr in a 110km/hr zone on the Pacific Hwy at Glenugie. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle and when it failed to stop, a police pursuit was initiated. The pursuit continued until Korora, when road spikes were deployed, and the vehicle came to stop. The driver, a 25-year-old Queensland man, was arrested and taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station, where he was charged with police pursuit – not stop – drive dangerously and exceed speed over 45km/hr. His licence was also suspended. The man was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court on Monday 24 August 2020.
Key statistics (progressive total), Operation Stay Alert day four:
• Speed infringements: 6292
• Breath tests: 105,223
• PCA charges: 252
• Fatalities: 2
Anyone with information about dangerous driving behaviours is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.