15 August 2016

Page 3


Hidden police eyes on street crime Stephen Taylor steve@baysidenews.com.au FRANKSTON police will launch a strategy next month that they say will enhance patrols and make policing more efficient. The Frankston Divisional Operations Support Office – DOSO – will allow police on restricted duties due to injury or illness to oversee calls made to triple zero and take jobs from patrol units that don’t necessarily require a police presence. The DOSO police can then call complainants and prepare crime and intelligence reports and referrals, without taking up the time of police on active duty.

“This will allow greater patrol time for units on the road to focus on key areas for us in relation to volume crime and anti-social behaviour,” Acting Senior Sergeant Glenn Michie said. “The members won’t be on patrol but will mostly be made up of members who are unable to have face-toface contact with the public. They will be sworn police officers and some will be in uniform and some not.” CCTV from the Frankston City Council and Bayside Shopping Centre will be beamed into the police building for active monitoring during incidents which have been called through to triple zero. “The CCTV will constantly be on

so members in the office will also be able to view it in between other tasks,” Sergeant Michie said. “If a brawl broke out on the street but it was over before police arrived the DOSO could view the incident and send direct intelligence, including CCTV stills, to the computers of units already on the way.” Frankston City Council’s Jarred Stevens said the DOSO unit would provide beneficial back-up to police and lead to a safer city. “The CCTV cameras will be monitored 16 hours a day,” he said. “A policeman will be sitting behind a camera with vision of any crimes that may occur. He can then continue watching while police are on their way to the crime scene and provide

them with information when they get there. “He can also help with minor crimes that may not need police attendance straight away.” Mr Stevens, the council’s coordinator of compliance and safety, said the initiative would save police travel time by having a DOSO officer back in the office doing the paperwork for crimes they investigated. Police are planning for potential CCTV coverage of the Frankston, Kananook and Seaford train stations to also be beamed live into the DOSO. This is expected to complement the work being done by PSOs and the transit police. Because the DOSO will generally be made up of members on restricted

duties, patrol times of active police will not be diminished. A side benefit is that it will enable members not actively working on the road to keep up with current trends and intelligence. “The partnership between Frankston police, Frankston City Council and Bayside Shopping Centre is only becoming stronger with initiatives like this,” Sergeant Michie said. “Community safety is a matter for everyone so the more eyes and cameras looking out the better.” Geelong police station has reportedly had a DOSO up and running for about two years “with great success”. Frankston is one of several police stations around Melbourne launching this method of policing due to the positive results it is providing.

Repeat offenders ‘shadowed’ by police

Eye for detail: Gem enthusiast Kristine Waterston has eyes only for her prize – a synthetic cubic zirconia. Pictures: Yanni

Grinding, polishing a gem of a craft “IT is easy to get addicted to gem stones,” admits lapidary enthusiast Kristine Waterston, of Skye. As one of the 130 members of the Frankston and Peninsula Lapidary Club, she’s right at home polishing, cutting and grinding gemstones into mini works of art. “We go out and dig for them and bring stuff back – that’s fossicking – or we go to gem shows and buy them,” she said. “We seek uncut, raw stones – that’s what the club’s all about.” Popular stones among members are rhodonite, agate, jasper, opals – such as a “boulder opal I have got myself hooked,” she quipped. “These are mined from large ironstone boulders underground and grow in a boulder matrix where you get thin

veins of colourful opal forming in cracks and fissures – it’s fascinating.” Members cut stones on diamondimpregnated wheels before using grinding and polishing wheels of differing grades to wear down their gems and polish them with laps. They also do faceting of high-end gems such as sapphires and rubies. Quartz and amethyst are described as “very hard” stones, but rewarding to work on. “We sell some and make others into jewellery and some we keep. We say: ‘I’m not parting with that one’,” she said. “It may take a couple of hours or even days to work on a gem but as you go through the stages it gets easier – especially when you learn how.”

Members of the 40-year-old Frankston and Peninsula Lapidary Club meet at the McClelland Gallery, McClelland Drive, Langwarrin. Classes are held in faceting, cabochon cutting, opal carving, chain weaving, silversmithing and enamelling. Visitors are welcome to attend the club’s annual gem show, 9am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 27-28 August, at the Cranbourne public Hall, South Gippsland Hwy, Cranbourne. Adults $5, seniors $4 and children free. Visitors can watch faceting and chain weaving demonstrations, inspect members’ work, buy from club stalls and sieve for gemstones. Traders will sell jewellery, minerals, beads and crystals. Light refreshments and a sausage sizzle will be available. Stephen Taylor

FRANKSTON police are working around the clock to keep residents safe by blitzing crime hotspots, arresting repeat offenders and responding to incidents in public spaces and on train-lines. Sergeant Phillip Hulley said that, by day 65 of its operation last week, the Shadow Taskforce had made 200-plus arrests – equating to an average of three per day. “So far, 4122 vehicles have been checked with many of these checks resulting in traffic stops or the execution of outstanding warrants,” he said. “A large number of the vehicles checked have also been searched for drugs and weapons.” Sergeant Hulley said task force members had “come out of the shadows” to speak with more than 1194 persons of interest. “Many of those persons were later searched for drugs and weapons where reasonable grounds existed.” After visiting the 24-hour Frankston police station on Thursday, Police Minister Lisa Neville gave a big thumbs’ up to the officers’ “dedication in serving and protecting the community”. She praised Shadow Taskforce police for “doing great work driving down crime and locking up repeat offenders to keep local residents safe”. “Community engagement is the essence of good policing – that’s why it’s great to see Frankston

police fostering strong relationships with the local community,” she said. The Shadow Taskforce aims to actively target repeat offenders through overt and covert police work, while also dealing with aggravated burglaries, drug use and youth crime. It has reportedly had “a significant impact” in the Frankston retail and business precincts, with local traders and residents noticing more police on the beat. Police custody officers have been on duty in Frankston since May and are helping to free up police to return to the beat. In May, police set up the statewide Operation Cosmas to investigate aggravated burglaries and car jackings, resulting in more than 130 arrests. Frankston MP Paul Edbrooke praised Frankston police targeting crime hotspots and boosting their presence in public spaces. “Targeted operations are helping in tackling youth offending, public order incidents and anti-social behaviour,” he said. The $596 million Public Safety Package announced in the Victorian Budget 2016/17 will fund an extra 406 sworn police officers, mobile technology and other specialist equipment. More than 200 custody officers are working at 22 of Victoria’s busiest police stations, with their rollout to be completed at the end of 2017.

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Frankston Times

15 August 2016


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