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Mitchell Shire police tackle hoon boom

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

Police are tackling an increase in hoon activities in recent months, with Broadford proving to be a hotspot for driving offences and dangerous driving.

Broadford police have impounded five vehicles in the past two weeks, many of which had already been on the radar for authorities with their drivers facing multiple different driving offences.

Sergeant Rhonda Coates, of Broadford police, thanked the community for its assistance in identifying and tracking down offending drivers.

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“We’re concerned. Broadford still prides itself on being a country town and the community was telling us they weren’t feeling safe at night,” she said.

“[The town] has a combination of an older population plus the new families moving in and everything in between. They were sick of it, and we were sick of it.

“We’ve been able to work collaboratively to start stamping out some of those people. We’re continuing on our efforts and we’re hoping that there will be a lot more police presence in the area.”

Offences include serious conduct endangering life and driving without a licence or on a disqualified licence, which alongside drug driving and unregistered vehicles, shape a large part of police work in the area.

Focus areas also include cars with false number plates stolen from other cars, which can be prevented by installing one-way safety screws available at police stations across the shire.

“It’s been a mixture of people that don’t have licences or are driving on disqualified licences and just thinking they’re above the law,” Sgt Coates said.

“We’re putting an emphasis on no discretion as far as traffic offences and hoon driving is concerned because it is a real concern to us.”

The community has assisted through both Crime Stoppers reports and contacting police with information such as registration numbers, as well as video footage taken on phones.

Sgt Coates said there were also issues involving unregistered dirt bikes across the Mitchell Shire, but offenders were much more difficult to identify.

“It’s a bit of an issue for us because of the fact they can go off-road, once they’re off-road there’s not a great deal that somebody in a police car can do,” she said.

“We’re just intel gathering, trying to find out where those bikes are coming from, targeting the addresses before they actually get out on the roads, involving the air wing, and looking at operations towards getting traffic assistance from units down in Melbourne.”

Anyone with information on dangerous driving or hooning is encouraged to contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or reporting online.

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