Police to continue targeting car hoons

St George Police have confirmed that Operation Engage targeting car hoons in Bayside will continue to Australia Day and beyond.

The police have released images from last weekend's operation which saw eight people charged as part of an operation targeting hooning and other dangerous driving along the Botany Bay foreshore.

Officers from St George Police Area Command and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were stationed across more than 16km for Operation Engage, targeting speeding, drink, drug and reckless driving between 5pm and midnight last Saturday.

They were assisted by officers from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), who were focusing on car defects, noise pollution and emissions.

Speaking outside Kogarah Police Station this week St George Police Area Commander Detective Superintendent Anthony Cooke warned car hoons that Operation Engage is ongoing.

"We have been working together with the council for some time in relation to these issues done on the foreshore including last weekend's Operation Engage which saw a number of hoons taken of the streets," Det Supt Cooke said.

"We are continuing that activity. The council and the police are working together to make sure we have people who come into the community who really enjoy the benefits that the bay can offer but to know they can't come into here and cause all sort of mayhem and disruption for the people who live in this community," he said.

"Everybody is welcome to behave as they should and enjoy everything that the council puts on for us down at Bayside."

Bayside Council mayor, Joe Awada said the police have been busy targetting car hoons starting at New Years Eve up to this week.

"And it's going to continue over the next few weeks," he said.

"We do want people to come into the area. We have got a beautiful foreshore and we welcome everyone to come but please behave.

"All the police are trying to do is to keep order. If you are behaving, you're collecting your rubbish and you are driving safely, that's all we are asking."

Operation Engage comes amid widespread community concerns over anti-social behaviour and traffic offences in the area..

During last weekend's operation, officers charged eight people and issued eight suspension notices and 73 infringements for traffic related offences. Police contacted 200 roadside breath tests and 68 random drug tests.

Incidents of note include:

. About 6pm, the 19-year-old driver of a Nissan Maxima was stopped for speeding on Somerville Street, Arncliffe, and returned a positive roadside drug test. During a search of the vehicle, officers allegedly located a knife and balaclava. The Arncliffe man was charged for driving whilst suspended and issued an infringement for possession of a knife in a public place and will face court at a later date. Police are awaiting the results of a secondary oral test.

. About 8.30pm, the 30-year-old driver of a Holden Commodore utility was stopped on General Holmes Drive, Brighton Le Sands, and returned a positive roadside drug test. He was issued a suspension notice. The same driver was stopped during the operation and again returned a positive roadside drug test. The Carlton man was issued court attendance notice for drive contrary to prohibition notice and will face court at a later date. Police are awaiting the results of a secondary oral test.

. Just after 10.30pm, the 17-year-old rider of a motorcycle was stopped on West Botany Street, Rockdale and found to be driving whilst disqualified, the fifth incident in a month. The Greenacre man was charged and granted strict conditional bail to appear at Sutherland Local Court on Tuesday 23 February 2021.

"What we've shown during the operation is that community safety and wellbeing is our priority and drivers who break the law will be detected and penalised," Supt Cooke said.

"We'll continue to have a strong presence in the area, with ongoing operations throughout the year. We're also continuing to encourage the community to report dangerous driving and anti-social behaviour."

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) inspected 25 vehicles and issued 18 defect notices, while the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) inspected 21 vehicles and issued 15 defect notices and 14 infringements totalling over $4000.

Anyone with information about dangerous driver behaviour is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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