By Steph McNicol
KILMORE police have launched a two-month operation to target hoon driving and motor vehicle theft in Kilmore, Broadford and Wandong.
Operation Hoon will see an increase in police focus on speed-related offences as well as targeting defective vehicles and other hoon related offences.
Acting Senior Sergeant Kalev Jones said the operation would focus on hotspots where drivers had been reportedly engaging in dangerous conduct of a vehicle.
“We see a lot of dangerous driving on residential streets. We’ve noticed it along Broadford-Kilmore Road, Nannys Creek Road, and around Kilmore East,” Sgt Jones said.
“We’re trying to identify the main group of people doing these things because we get a number of phone calls from community members and there’s an expectation to deal with these matters.
“It becomes difficult when we get there, the offenders have already gone and we have to rely on information from the community and try to respond.”
Sgt Jones said drivers partaking in the endangerment of other road users’ lives would be charged under the hoon legislation.
Anti-hoon laws were introduced to the state in 2006 and give police the power to impound, immobilise or permanently confiscate vehicles driven in a dangerous manner.
“Hooning is any driving conducting endangerment of a life; improper use of a vehicle, burnouts, losing control on purpose, fishtailing, dangerous speeds, and we can also charge them for defects or being unregistered,” Sgt Jones said.
The operation by police will also target theft of and from motor vehicles.
“We’re finding from a lot of the statistics in the country area, people are still leaving their vehicles unlocked and keys in the ignition,” Sgt Jones said.
“Tradie utes are especially targeted, so it’s important they make sure their tools are really lockable or they are kept on the premises instead.
“Thieves are opportunists, at train stations they’ll try a car door handle and if it’s unlocked, steal what they can find.”
Police are hoping the operation will result in the collection of data to be made public and reduce hoon activity and theft.
Police encourage people to ring triple zero, 000, if they see any suspicious behaviour around vehicles or any hoon activity, or submit a report with Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.