by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
Superintendent Trevor Twilley and Senior Sergeant Peter Brown addressed Wattle Range Council Meeting on Tuesday 11th February giving an update on police work in the area. They answered questions from Council as well as giving recent updates on drink driving, vandalism, crime, the effects of reduced speed limits and drug driving; which is on the increase.
“With the increase use of alcohol and drug use, we would expect to see an increase in crime but that hasn’t been the case,” Superintendent Twilley said. “In fact there has been a 40% reduction in crime and that is a direct result of the partnerships formed between the police and the community and also working with the Council and that is across 12 stations in the area involving 115 police staff.
“The increase in positive testings of drug driving is an indication of the increased use of drugs in the wider community.”
“The age groups testing positive for drug driving, are mostly people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s,” said Sen Sergeant Brown
“Drug testing is expensive, costing about $35-00 each saliva test kit and is a lengthy process, involving many police hours.”
“Alcohol testing give a percentage of alcohol in the persons system, but drug testing is a yes or a no. Drugs are either detected or not and drugs can still be evident in the persons system several days after use.”
“Our decision to drug test is based on intelligence we receive, demeanor during and after alcohol testing. We do however test heavy vehicle drivers. In the case of an accident, the driver is automatically alcohol tested and then drug tested. There is an increase in drug driving across all of our small towns, it is not limited to the cities, ” they said.
Drug driving was carried out in Kingston recently and five (5) out of thirteen (13) drivers tested positive to drugs. Drug driving has also been carried out in Millicent.
A driver testing positive to alcohol doesn’t lose their license the first time. When registering .005 – 079 – the driver receives a expiation notice. If registering .08 plus, it is automatically a Court appearance and possible disqualification.
Drugs and alcohol in youth is a problem with an increase in cyberbullying and sexting. Existing programs are doing a good job but we need more the Officers said.
Photo: S Lowe