Vehicle helps drug fight

Sjanna SandalovaGreat Southern Herald

Katanning police had exclusive access to the Advanced Traffic Management Vehicle, the only one of its kind in the Great Southern.

From January 15 to 28, the vehicle played a vital role in local police targeting drug- driving in Katanning and neighbouring towns in Kojonup, Wagin and Gnowangerup.

Constable Cate White said the ATMV allowed police to receive information in real time.

“By reading vehicle registration plates as they drove by, the vehicle allowed us to pick up the status of vehicle and driver licences as well as assisting in identifying vehicles and persons of interest,” she said.

A stolen vehicle from Gnowangerup was found parked near a premises as a result of a plate read by the ATMV.

In the two weeks the vehicle was in operation, it undertook nearly 70 operational hours, reading more than 6500 licence plates and returning nearly 350 hits for a variety of reasons.

Positive drug reading to THC and Methamphetamine
Camera IconPositive drug reading to THC and Methamphetamine Credit: Katanning Police

Sergeant Aaron Honey said the ATMV was a huge hit for Katanning.

“While not all hits result in police action, several persons were found driving without a licence and a number were driving unaware they were subject of a fine suspension,” he said.

“The vehicle complemented a dedicated effort by local police towards identifying and apprehending drug-affected drivers, with 100 drivers tested and, of those, 14 tested positive to having illicit substances in their saliva.

The majority of those tested to methamphetamine, with two people testing positive to both methamphetamine and cannabis.

“Remember to report any suspicious behaviour to police and keep an eye on your neighbours’ property as well.

“Reducing crime is a partnership and we need your support to make things difficult for would-be felons — your ongoing vigilance and support of your local police and emergency services is always appreciated.”

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