Police out in force
Friday, 10th April, 2020
By Myles Burt
Random breath tests are still being conducted and extra police will be patrolling the Barrier Police District this Easter weekend.
Whilst there has been some confusion over whether police are still conducting random breath tests due worries of spreading COVID-19, Barrier PD Superintendent Andrew Spliet said that police still have the power to conduct RBTs.
Police have personal protective equipment that they can use during testing and are able to keep 1.5 metres away from the driver once they’ve conducted the test.
Police will be monitoring buses arriving and departing from Broken Hill, Menindee and Wilcannia to help restrict the movement of people conducting non-essential travel.
Buses travelling from neighboring Police Districts would also be inspected by NSW Police before coming into the Barrier PD.
“We also have an operation planned across the district leading up to the Easter period, especially around the Menindee area,” Supt. Spliet said.
“We’ve got extra police that will be conducting patrols all across the district.
“If people are coming and they’ve got their camping gear ready to set up and they haven’t got a reasonable excuse, then we’ll be issuing fines.”
Supt. Spliet said due to travel restrictions being publicised frequently across the state and in the community via social media and other multiple media platforms, locals should now be aware not to undertake any non-essential travel.
“I don’t think there would be any reasonable excuse as to why people wouldn’t know about travel restrictions, especially over this time of year,” Supt. Spliet said.
“People can expect to have an interaction with the police at some time over the weekend if they’re out and about for a non-essential reason.”
So far, Supt. Spliet said he’s very happy with local compliance of social distancing.
“Fortunately over the last couple of weeks we’ve only had to issue one ticket at the moment,” Supt. Spliet said.
Broken Hill residents have been very proactive in asking coronavirus questions to local police, especially regarding the South Australian border checkpoint, COVID-19 health issues and general exercise.
Sergeant Ben Radford said all health and COVID-19 related queries will be referred to the Far West Local Health District who will provide the best response.
He said general exercise outside is allowed but strictly limited to groups of no more than two people.
Sgt. Radford said the border into South Australia is still open only to certain people with SAPOL conducting border checks at Oodla Wirra, 257km west of Broken Hill on the Barrier Highway.
He said whilst NSW is still open to interstate travellers, he wouldn’t recommend locals trying their luck with travelling into South Australia.
“Basically, the only good reasons to get through is either you live in Adelaide or you’re going there for a medical appointment,” Sgt. Radford said.
“Otherwise you’re unlikely to get through.
“If you do get through, they’re going to want proof of where you’re going to stay and they’ll actually do spot checks.”
Sgt. Radford said, overall, crime in Broken Hill had remained at the usual level.