Quiet Christmas for police

Alicia Perera and Robert DoughertyPilbara News

Pilbara police had a surprisingly quiet Christmas holiday period, with most residents, visitors and motorists on their best behaviour.

Stations in the West Pilbara mostly avoided the usual spike in property crime, with police in Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Onslow and even tourist hub Exmouth reporting no significant burglaries, robberies or vehicle thefts

Roebourne police also had no burglaries between Christmas and the new year, a result officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Tom Daly said had been helped by preventative action at liquor outlets and youth engagement programs running at Roebourne PCYC. In Karratha, Peg’s Creek was last week the site of six or seven burglaries, which Karratha police acting officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Simon Harrison said was typical for this time of year.

Karratha police have increased patrols in the area in response.

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On the roads, most drivers through the Pilbara took note of the double demerits period between December 22 and January 7.

Only 20 people were charged with drink-driving offences out of 2822 random breath tests, while one driver tested positive for cannabis and three for methamphetamine from 53 oral fluid drug tests in the same period.

Police issued infringements to 19 people for not wearing seatbelts, 17 for vehicle defects, two for mobile phone use while driving and two for reckless driving.

They charged 37 people with no authority to drive resulting in 19 vehicles being impounded.

Speeding was the most common traffic offence, with 155 people fined.

Exmouth police officer-in-charge Sergeant Paul World said police had clocked motorists driving at speeds of up to 140km/h and described the levels of speeding around Exmouth as “very disappointing”.

“In the last 10 days we did probably 80 infringements,” he said.

“Of that, we’ve issued about seven people with 12 demerit points due to their speed, so that’s seven or eight people who may have lost their licence for speeding.” Pilbara District traffic police acting Sergeant Constable Glen Hillman said most drivers remained on Santa Claus’ “good” list over the holidays.

“Generally drivers were well-behaved with no serious or fatal crashes occurring in the district to date during the double-demerit period,” he said.

“However, impaired driving, incorrect or non-use of restraints, excessive speed and those driving without a licence remain a concern for police due to the increased risk of harm to the community.”

“A zero-tolerance approach will continue to be taken to these type of offences.”

Police reported average to low numbers of domestic and non-domestic assaults for the period.

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