Man wanted over murder arrested in Lake Macquarie

A man wanted on warrants for offences including murder and manslaughter, has been arrested in the Lake Macquarie area overnight.

Officers from Lake Macquarie Police District have made public appeals to locate the 24-year-old man as they continue to investigate the death of a 60-year-old man, who died after he was attacked in his Whitebridge home on Monday 17 December 2018.

Detectives from Lake Macquarie Police District, assisted by the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, established Strike Force Lacrozia to investigate the circumstances surrounding the older man’s death.

Following inquiries, a 24-year-old man was arrested after crashing his motorcycle into an unmarked police vehicle on Ntaba Road, Jewells, about 11pm yesterday (Sunday 30 December 2019).

The man has been taken to hospital where he is being checked as a precaution, and remains there under police guard.

Two men, aged 19 and 22, have already been charged over the Whitebridge man’s murder and remain before the courts.

Anyone with information about this incident 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 crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Significant drop in fatalities between 2017 and 2018 during Operation Safe Arrival

Police are pleased with the significant difference in the number of fatalities during Operation Safe Arrival, with 14 less deaths on NSW roads compared to 2017.

Operation Safe Arrival, the State’s Christmas/New Year road safety operation, started at 12.01am on Friday 21 December 2018, and will continue until 11.59pm on Tuesday 1 January 2019.

Double demerits are in place over the entire operation for all speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle-helmet offences.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy of the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, said it’s important to reflect on the positives of this year’s operation.

“Although it’s disappointing to see a hit and run incident showing complete lack of care for other people’s wellbeing, I’m satisfied this operation is reflecting the strong approach we have taken with more police saturating the roads,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

“As we near the end of the operation, I’m pleased there have been 14 less people killed on NSW roads during the operation so far.

“I encourage all road users to take extra care in the leadup to the new year, so they arrive safely to enjoy celebrations with family and friends,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

Of note during day nine of Operation Safe Arrival:

  • About 11pm (Saturday 29 December 2018), emergency services were called to Tudor Street, Campsie, after reports of a man injured following a hit and run crash. The 19-year-old man was crossing the street, when a grey Mazda 2 Hatchback turned onto Tudor Street from Canterbury Road travelling north, before striking the man. The car stopped briefly, before driving away in the same direction. The man was treated at the scene by paramedics, before being taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in a stable condition with arm and leg injuries. Officers from Campsie Police Area Command urge anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

Key statistics (Cumulative total – started on 21 December 2018):
Total infringements issued (not speeding): 15,536
Speed infringements: 9,202
Breath tests: 413,463
Drink-driving charges: 495
Lives lost: 6

Bandido OMCG associates charged with aggravated break and enter – Abermain

Three Bandido outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) associates have been charged following an investigation into an alleged aggravated break and enter on Christmas Day at Abermain.

About 3pm (Tuesday 25 December 2018), three men entered a unit in Armidale Street where they confronted a 22-year-old man.

The men aged, 21, 22 and 23 became involved in an alleged physical confrontation with the other man, continuing to assault him as they dragged him to the front of the premises.

Several other people from the unit attempted to intervene. The three men left and officers from Hunter Valley Police District attended the scene.

Following further inquiries, the three men were arrested yesterday (Thursday 27 December 2018) by Cessnock Detectives, assisted by officers from State Crime Command’s Strike Force Raptor North.

They were each charged with aggravated break and enter and commit serious indictable offence and affray.

The men were refused bail and appeared in Newcastle Local Court today (Friday 28 December 2018). They were granted conditional bail and are due to appear in Cessnock Local Court on 10 January 2019.

Police launch Operation New Year’s Eve 2018 ahead of celebrations

NSW Police will be deployed as part of a highly-visible and mobile police operation to ensure the safety and security of the community ahead of Sydney’s 2018 New Year’s Eve celebration.

Operation New Year’s Eve 2018 will commence on Monday (31 December 2018), as significant crowds begin to converge on the Sydney Harbour foreshore and at events across the state for New Year’s festivities.

General duties officers from Police Area Commands across the state will be assisted by specialist units including Public Order & Riot Squad, Police Transport Command, Operations Support Group, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Licensing Police, Mounted Unit, Dog Unit, Marine Area Command and PolAir, throughout the operation.

Metropolitan Field Operations and Operation New Year’s Eve 2018 Commander, Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Walton APM, said police will be focusing on public safety, alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

“We are prepared for significant crowds who are expected to make their way into the city and harbour foreshore areas this New Year’s Eve,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Walton said.

“Police will be out in force across the event footprint to ensure the movement of crowds to vantage points are managed safely.

“We want everyone to have a memorable night for the right reasons, so celebrate responsibly, drink in moderation and look after one another – you don’t want to start 2019 with a criminal record,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Walton said.

NSW Police have been working closely with City of Sydney, NSW Government agencies, landowners and other stakeholders in the lead up to the event, to ensure the festivities are safe and family-friendly.

Minister for Police Troy Grant said officers will be patrolling the crowds, out on the water, travelling on the trains and in the sky to ensure everyone rings in the New Year safely.

“We have some of the best police in the world and they’ll be out on the beat doing what they do best to make sure everyone enjoys the festivities in a safe and secure environment,” Mr Grant said.

“But police can’t be everywhere at once, and with big crowds expected in the CBD and surrounds, it’s really important that everyone plays their part in behaving responsibly and looking out for your mates.”

Extensive assessments have been conducted throughout the year and detailed plans will be implemented to ensure traffic, transport, crowd behaviour and security are expertly managed.

“Police want New Year’s Eve to be safe and fun for everyone, and one of the best ways to achieve this is to plan your night in advance,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Walton said.

“Key sites will have security checks upon entry and are closely monitored by police and event security to gauge when they are reaching capacity, and people will be directed away from the area to prevent overcrowding.

“The public should be reassured that police have a significant, robust and flexible operation in place to ensure the safety of revellers throughout the night,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Walton said.

Detailed vantage point information, alcohol-free zones and important hints and tips for the evening are available on the Sydney New Year’s Eve website: www.sydneynewyearseve.com.

The website also features important traffic and transport information to assist revellers in planning their trip to and from the city.

“There will be a number of major road closures and significant changes to traffic conditions in and around the CBD, so public transport is certainly your best bet,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Walton said.

“For those who insist on driving, please be patient, be aware of your surroundings as there will be a large number of pedestrians and never drink or drug drive,” he added.

Detailed public transport information is available on the Sydney New Year’s Eve website. Special event traffic information can also be found at: www.livetraffic.com.

With significant maritime traffic expected on Sydney Harbour, police and maritime authorities will be out in force to ensure operators of recreational and commercial vessels are complying with maritime laws.

“For those that choose to enjoy the celebrations from the water, stay alert and be always be aware of your surroundings and other boaters in the area,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Walton said.

“Before heading out on the water, check the vessel is in good working order, ensure all the required safety equipment is on board – most importantly, lifejackets.

“And remember, the alcohol limit is 0.05 – just like on land – and with officers conducting random breath tests on the water, it’s safer not to drink at all,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Walton said.

Visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au and follow the links to Maritime for details on exclusion zones and movement restriction times.

NSW residents and visitors urged to keep cool as holiday weather heats up

As New South Wales prepares for a wave of hot weather over the next week, police are urging residents and visitors to keep informed on the conditions and look after their health.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting temperatures in the 30s and increasing across the state from today (Thursday 27 December 2018) and peaking in the low-to-mid 40s on New Year’s Eve (Monday 31 December 2018). Visit www.bom.gov.au for updated weather forecasts and warnings.

With these conditions expected, police and emergency services are urging everyone in NSW to remember the four key messages to keep healthy in the heat:

1. Drink plenty of water (limit hot, sugary, or alcoholic beverages)

2. Keep cool (stay in the air conditioning, if possible)

3. Take care of others (visit or contact those at risk of heat-related illness)

4. Have a plan (know who to contact if you need assistance and seek medical advice if you feel unwell).

For more information on staying healthy in the heat, please visit NSW Health’s ‘Beat the Heat’ website: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat.

Importantly, motorists are reminded it is never okay to leave children, the elderly, or pets unattended in a car – even with the air conditioning running. Not only is this dangerous, it can be deadly.

Livestock and pet owners are also being urged to ensure adequate clean water is always available and that shading is provided, where possible. Additionally, no animal should be left in confined, unventilated areas.

The RSPCA has a multitude of advice available online for reducing heat stress for animals: https://www.rspcansw.org.au/what-we-do/care-for-animals/pet-hazards/heat-stress.

While it is advised to avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day, large crowds are still expected at NSW beaches, rivers, lakes, and swimming pools.

Anyone swimming in unfamiliar waterways is urged to take extra care. Every year thousands of people require rescuing from the surf and many needlessly drown.

Surf Life Saving NSW urge people to swim at patrolled beaches and always between the flags. If in doubt about the conditions, ask a lifesaver/lifeguard for advice or just stay out of the water.

To help plan a day at the beach, Surf Life Saving Australia has an easy to use website: www.beachsafe.org.au and a free smart-phone app ‘beachsafe’ with the latest information about every Australian beach.

Police are also urging rock anglers to wear a life jacket and adhere to the safety advice available at: www.safefishing.com.au when venturing out onto the rocks.

Skippers are reminded they are responsible for the safety of all on board their vessel, and they should expect police or NSW Maritime to conduct safety compliance checks, as well as random breath tests.

Police will also focus on jet ski riders to ensure they’re enjoying the sport safely. Dangerous riding and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

Members of the public should also be aware of the increased risk of bushfires on days with high temperature, especially when combined with windy conditions. Visit the Rural Fire Service website (www.rfs.nsw.gov.au) for bushfire preparedness advice and current conditions/warnings.

Finally, in the event of an emergency, call 000 (Triple Zero).

Fewer injured in crashes as Operation Safe Arrival continues

“Any road, anytime” is the message from NSW police as many residents begin their journey or return home after the Christmas break.

Operation Safe Arrival, the State’s Christmas/New Year road safety operation, started at 12.01am on Friday 21 December 2018, and will continue until 11.59pm on Tuesday1 January 2019.

Double demerits remain in place over the entire long-weekend for all speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle-helmet offences.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy of the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, said the roads are are still busy with holiday traffic going to or from their destination. .

“I know a lot of people will be discussing what is the best road to take home right now. I can provide one bit of advice – regardless of whatever road you are on, we will be there,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

“I am pleased there have been declines in the numbers of people detected speeding and drink-driving.

“At this point in Operation Safe Arrival there has been a decline in the number of people injured in crashes across the state.

“This means there will be fewer people starting the New Year having to face rehabilitation, time off work and the imposition on family life.”

Some examples of inappropriate driver behaviour detected during Day Six of Operation Safe Arrival include,

About 1.45am today (Thursday 27 December 2018), a male driver was detected travelling at 136km/h (lidar) in am 80km/h work zone on the M1 at Wahroonga. A roadside breath test returned a positive result. A subsequent breath analysis returned a reading of 0.196. The driver was Charged by way of field court attendance notice for the offences of ‘Drive the high concentration of alcohol’ and ‘Exceed speed limit – over 45km/h’. The man will appear at Hornsby Local Court at a future date

A man will face court today after a stolen van was stopped in Lansvale in south western Sydney A Toyota Hiace with incorrect registration plates was stopped on the Hume Highway by Fairfield Highway Patrol officers just before 2am today (Thursday 27 December 2018). Inquiries carried out at the scene found the Hiace had been stolen. A search of the Hiace located a push bike, television, tools, copper wire, lawn mower, leaf blower and suitcases of clothing. It will be alleged that some or all the property is suspected of being stolen. The 39-year-old male driver was charged with drive conveyance without consent, possess prohibited drug (x2), not carry drivers licence and breach of bail. Further charges regarding the property is anticipated. He is expected to appear in Parramatta Local Court today.

Key statistics (Cumulative total – started on 21 December 2018):
Total infringements issued (not speeding): 8825
Speed infringements: 5792
Breath tests: 262,669
Drink-driving charges: 306
Lives lost: 4

Second man charged over alleged murder during Lake Macquarie home invasion

A second man has been charged with murder after the death of another man during a home invasion at Lake Macquarie last week.

Emergency services were called to the home on Lonus Avenue, Whitebridge, about 2.30am on Monday 17 December 2018, where they found a 60-year-old man with serious injuries.

The man was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics, before being taken to John Hunter Hospital. Despite the efforts of medical staff, the man died a short time later.

The man’s two brothers were home at the time but were not injured.

Local police established a crime scene at the home, which was examined by specialist forensic officers.

Detectives from Lake Macquarie Police District, assisted by the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, established Strike Force Lacrozia to investigate the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.

A 19-year-old man was previously charged with murder. He remains before the courts.

Following further inquiries, a 23-year-old man was arrested at a home at Windale last Saturday (22 December 2018), before being taken to John Hunter Hospital for treatment to a pre-existing injury.

The man was released from hospital earlier today (Tuesday 25 December 2018), and taken to Belmont Police Station.

He was charged with murder, steal from person, impersonate police officer and exercise powers/functions, and police pursuit – not stop – drive recklessly.

Police will allege in court that the man is one of three people – armed with baseball bats and knives – who broke into the Whitebridge home and attacked the 60-year-old man in his bedroom.

He was refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court tomorrow (Wednesday 26 December 2018).

Investigations are continuing, and police are still seeking another man in relation to the incident.

Police appeal following aggravated break, enter and steal near Maitland

Investigators are appealing for public assistance following an aggravated break and enter near Maitland today.

About 5.10am (Saturday 22 December 2018), a man was working inside a licenced premises on West Street, Greta, about 20km north west of Maitland, when four males arrived at the location in a vehicle.

Police have been told three males forced entry, striking the man with a baseball bat before threatening him with a gun.

Several items were stolen including a mobile phone and laptop, before the group fled the scene.

Officers from Hunter Valley Police District attended and established a crime scene.

The injured man was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics and taken to Maitland Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

The males have been described as wearing jumpers, track pants and gloves with their faces covered.

It is believed they may have been driving a dark coloured dual cab utility.

Anyone with information about the incident who may be able to assist with inquiries is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

New City Hall ramp revealed

The City of Newcastle today unveiled a newly restored section of City Hall as part of the architectural jewel’s external restoration.

Hoarding was removed from the south-eastern vehicle ramp and facade along King Street, revealing a newly built driveway, and the footpath completely re-opened to pedestrians.

IMG_5099.JPGCity Hall Project Manager Matthew Bennet and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes at the newly-opened south ramp

“We are painstakingly restoring this 1929 heritage building to endure as the Civic Precinct’s showpiece, and the latest section is a major milestone in the project,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“This large-scale conservation work is ensuring City Hall stands strong and proud in a pivotal precinct that will quickly grow in stature as a cultural and hospitality hub following last week’s announcement of Newcastle’s first five-star hotel in the Roundhouse building.

“Kingsley Hotel’s future guests will behold the beauty of City Hall from the comfort of their accommodation and tell their friends and relatives about it when they return home.”

Inside1.jpg
The highest quality self-colouring sandstone material has been used to replace ageing and damaged parts of the building, with the Sydney basin ‘Yellowblock’ sandstone excavated from a building site in George Street, Sydney.

The use of high-quality material will ensure the longevity of the building and help reduce future building maintenance.

While the south-eastern hoarding has come down, retractable bollards will remain at the base of the ramp to prevent vehicle access until the remaining work is completed on the southern façade.
Work to conserve the western and northern facade continues, with eastern construction compound still in place.

For more information on this project, visit the City Hall Restoration website.

1.2 million jobs created since Coalition elected

More than 1.2 million jobs have been created since the Government came to office in September 2013, after the Australian economy created an additional 37,000 jobs in November.

The latest labour force figures, released today by the ABS, show the number of jobs created in November is almost double the 20,000 jobs the market expected. Seasonally adjusted employment is now 285,700 higher than it was a year ago. Total employment is at a record high of 12,694,300.

Encouragingly, female employment rose strongly, by 15,300 over the month and by 146,100 over the year, and is now at a record high, of 5,954,000 in November.

Over the last year, full-time employment growth has accounted for around two thirds (63.1 per cent) of the total increase in employment.

With record levels of labour force participation for working age Australians, it is clear that the strong economy is giving more and more people the confidence to enter the jobs market.

“More than 1.2 million jobs have been created since the Government came to office in September 2013,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

“The Coalition Government’s plan for a strong economy is working. By contrast, Bill Shorten and Labor would risk it all with their $200 billion worth of taxes on electricity, workers, housing, savings, investments and retirement hitting millions of Australians.

“Labor’s approach to industrial relations is also of great concern. Labor’s secret deal to allow industry-wide strikes would cripple small businesses, damage our economy and cost jobs.

“The Australian economy has gained momentum, but we must be wary of global head winds and risks posed by taking a different approach,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.