Community praised for cooperation

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Newcastle City Police Commander, Superintendent Brett Greentree, has thanked the community for its cooperation during a “pretty challenging time”.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to the enforcement of several restrictions that police are working hard to maintain.

This past Easter long weekend saw the introduction of police operation, Operation Tortoise – a state-wide road safety operation which saw officers targeting speeding, mobile phone, seat belt and motorcycle helmet offences; all of which attracted double demerit points.

Superintendent Greentree said he was happy with how the Newcastle region behaved and responded to police operations.

“In the main we have been generally happy with people doing the right thing,” he said.

Newcastle City Police Commander, Superintendent Brett Greentree.

“In saying that, though, we did issue several infringements around the district and also delivered many cautions and warnings particularly around the beach areas [but] generally speaking, people are abiding by the minster’s guidelines and directions.”

Highway Patrol Officers were pleased with motorist’s behaviour, however, speeding and drink driving incidents were still detected.

Officers also issued a number of travel warnings to those participating in non-essential travel.

Superintendent Greentree added that police operations were constantly adapting to the changing environment created by COVID-19.

“It changes every day – we have to make sure that we keep on top of any developments that occur,” he said.

“Police, like the general community, are still learning to adapt and we’ve certainly assured that our taskings have changed a little bit.”

Police are working hard to be present in public spaces to ensure people are abiding by the restrictions.

“What we are asking people to do is to stay home unless you have a reasonable excuse – if you have to think about why you need to go out to come up with an excuse, you probably shouldn’t do it,” Superintendent Greentree said.