More than 400 charges have been laid over the past year by a specialist highway patrol strike force targeting high-risk driving behaviour.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said in its first year, Strike Force Puma personnel had charged 260 people with a range of offences.
“The strike force was formed to target high-risk drivers and high-risk driving behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
“In this time, the charges have included drink driving, DUI offences, driver licence offences (disqualified, suspended, unlicenced, cancelled or refused), performing aggravated burnouts, film and promote aggravated burnouts, goods in custody and the supply and possession of prohibited drugs.
“The bulk of the strike force work has centred in the Sydney Metropolitan region and there has also been deployments to the Hunter Valley, Central Coast, Newcastle, Nowra, Queanbeyan, Wagga Wagga, Nyngan and Dubbo.”
Strike Force Puma has assisted investigators from agencies such as ICAC, RMS, Revenue NSW and provided support and resources to operations conducted by other specialist areas within the NSW Police Force.
Assistant Commissioner Corboy said the strike force has conducted numerous operations to target known high-risk drivers and has actively engaged with numerous car clubs to encourage and bring about changes in driving behaviours and attitude.
Some of Strike Force Puma’s noteworthy arrests have included:
• Investigations into numerous wedding and genders reveal burnout offences that have led to the arrest and charge of offending drivers and those who have either filmed or promoted the activities,
• Investigation, arrest and charge of an Indian national, in Australia on a student visa, who had amassed more than $20,000 in fines and was wanted on domestic violence-related warrants.
• Investigation, arrest, extradition from Queensland and charge of disqualified driver, who rammed a police vehicle to avoid apprehension.