Hunter police launch Operation Tortoise for 2020 Easter break

Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell APM, will address Hunter media this afternoon as Operation Tortoise is launched state-wide over the Easter long weekend.

NSW Police is reminding the community that, while travelling for holidays is not considered ‘essential’ travel, officers will continue to be out in force over the Easter long weekend. Operation Tortoise, a state-wide road safety operation over the Easter long weekend, will see officers targeting speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences; all of which will attract double demerit points.

Double demerit points which will be in place from midnight tomorrow (Thursday 9 April 2020) until 11.59pm on Monday 13 April 2020 across NSW.


Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has put out a call for Newcastle kids to sign up for ‘Sharon’s Pen Pal Club’ and write letters to an older Novocastrian living in aged care.

Ms Claydon said she had launched the program to benefit young and old Novocastrians in the face of increased restrictions to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Residents in aged care are becoming increasingly isolated and vulnerable, while many kids are home from school and at a loose end,” Ms Claydon said.

“The aim of the program is to unite aged care residents who may be feeling less connected than usual and children who are in need of stimulation and writing practice.”

Ms Claydon said families could register children to take part in the program by sending an email to or calling her office on 4926 1555.

“I’ve already got a growing list of seniors who have signed up to help children practice their writing and build new friendships.

“I’d encourage all families who want to help their kids learn and get a new perspective on life to get in touch with me today.”

Ms Claydon said the restrictions of social distancing and enforced isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic are leading people across the globe to find innovative ways to connect.

“While we can’t come together in person like we used to, I have great faith in the power of community to get us through these difficult times,” Ms Claydon said.

“By signing up to my Pen Pal Club, you can be part of a community effort to help keep older Novocastrians connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. No Novocastrian should be left feeling alone right now, so take a moment to sign up and become a pen-pal today.”

Man allegedly threatens several shop attendants – Toronto

A man will face court today charged after allegedly threatening several shop attendants in Lake Macquarie overnight.

Police will allege about 5.30pm on Monday (6 April 2020), a 35-year-old man entered a newsagency on The Boulevard, Toronto, and demanded cash from the shop attendant.

He left the store empty-handed before entering a takeaway shop and demanding cash from another employee. After the attendant refused, the 35-year-old allegedly threatened him with a nearby chair and left.

A short time later, the man entered a bottle shop and demanded cash from the shop attendant.

Officers from Lake Macquarie Police District were patrolling the nearby area and entered the bottle shop where they arrested the 35-year-old.

He was taken to Toronto Police Station and charged with three counts of demand money with menaces.

He was refused bail to face Newcastle Local Court today (Tuesday 7 April 2020).


In line with advice from the Australian Government to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, my electorate office has ceased face-to-face interactions until restrictions are lifted.

Rest assured, myself and my staff are not going anywhere. If you need help, we’re here for you.

You can contact us on or you can call my office on (02) 4926 1555 between 10am to 4pm on weekdays, if you don’t have access to email.

This measure is necessary to protect the health of my staff, so that we can keep helping you through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Building fire – Newcastle

A crime scene has been established after a fire at a vacant Newcastle hotel overnight.

About 5.30pm (Sunday 5 April 2020), emergency services were called to King Street, Newcastle, following reports of an explosion at an unoccupied licensed premises.

They arrived to find the building well alight; crews from Fire and Rescue NSW took several hours to extinguish the blaze.

More than 100 people from nearby buildings were evacuated as a precaution, two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Officers from Newcastle City Police District have commenced investigations into the cause of the blaze.

Hunter Street remains closed between Auckland Street and Worth Place; local diversions are in place.

Man charged following alleged aggravated break and enters – Raymond Terrace

A man has been charged following an alleged aggravated home invasion at a motel in Raymond Terrace.

About 12.30am today (Monday 6 April 2020), two men and a woman attended a hotel on the intersection of William and Port Stephens streets, Raymond Terrace, with one armed with a piece of wood.

Police will allege the trio entered a room and threatened a 23-year-old man before demanding his key card and cash and assaulting him.

The two men and woman continued to threaten the 23-year-old to open two other rooms.

A 26-year-old man and 28-year-old woman were in the third room when the door opened, and the trio allegedly demanded cash and assaulted both of them.

Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District arrived at the scene a short time later and attempted to stop a blue Mitsubishi Magna leaving a nearby shopping centre carpark.

The vehicle drove off at speed and a police pursuit was initiated; it was terminated a short time later due to safety concerns.

Following extensive inquiries, police attended a home on Cambridge Street, Raymond Terrace, and arrested an 18-year-old man about 7.30am.

He was taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station and charged with two counts of special aggravated break and enter commit serious indictable offence with a weapon, armed aggravated break and enter with intent and larceny.

He was refused bail to face Raymond Terrace Local Court today (Monday 6 April 2020), where he was granted conditional bail to face the same court on Tuesday 9 June 2020.

Inquiries are continuing to locate the other man and woman.

Man charged following stabbing – Fingal Bay

A man has been charged over an alleged stabbing in the state’s Hunter region today.

Just before 2.20am (Sunday 5 April 2020), emergency services were called to a house on Shoreline Drive, Fingal Bay, after reports of an assault.

Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District arrived to find a 27-year-old man suffering multiple stab wounds to his back.

He was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to John Hunter Hospital where he remains in a stable condition following surgery.

A 28-year-old man was arrested at the scene and taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station.

A crime scene was established and an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident commenced.

Following inquiries, the older man was charged with wound person intend to cause grievous bodily harm (DV) and affray.

Police will allege in court that the two men – who are known to each other – were fighting, before the younger man was stabbed in the lower back.

The man was refused bail to appear before Newcastle Local Court via AVL tomorrow (Monday 6 April 2020).


Charges laid after two police officers allegedly assaulted – Hunter Region

A man will appear in court today charged after allegedly assaulting two police officers in the Hunter Valley region overnight.

About 8.30pm (Friday 3 April 2020), officers from Hunter Valley Police District stopped a Ford Laser sedan on Heddon Street, Kurri Kurri, and spoke with the driver, a 38-year-old man.

The driver allegedly resisted officers while they conducted a search. As he was being arrested, the man allegedly punched a senior constable in the head before OC spray was deployed.

The man allegedly fled the area and, following a short foot pursuit, he was arrested again.

Police will allege in court that during this arrest, the man punched a second female senior constable in the head.

He was taken to Cessnock Police Station, where he was charged with two counts of resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty, and three counts of assault police officer in execution of duty.

The Waratah man has been refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court today (Saturday 4 April 2020).

Fourth man charged following three pursuits in Lake Macquarie and Newcastle

A fourth person will face court today charged over his alleged role in three separate pursuits across the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle region.

About 12.25am yesterday (Friday 3 April 2020), officers from Lake Macquarie Police District were patrolling the Cardiff area, when they spotted a Volkswagen Polo on Main Street, which had allegedly been reported stolen earlier in the week from Valentine.

The vehicle allegedly failed to stop as directed and a police pursuit was initiated.

The pursuit continued through several streets of Cardiff onto the Newcastle City Bypass, with the car allegedly travelling south in the northbound lanes; the pursuit was then terminated due to safety concerns.

A short time later, the car was spotted on Medcalf Street, Warners Bay, where police initiated a second pursuit. This was terminated a short time later; also due to safety reasons.

Then about 12.40am, police saw the car on Myall Road, Cardiff, and initiated a third pursuit.

The vehicle travelled through several suburbs – including Cardiff, Elermore Vale and Wallsend – before police terminated the pursuit due to safety concerns.

A short time later, officers from Newcastle City Police District were patrolling the area when they observed the car allegedly travelling at speed through the intersection of Walford and Thomas Streets, Wallsend.

The vehicle allegedly ran a red light and collided with a westbound silver Subaru.

No one was injured in the collision.

Four people exited the vehicle and ran from the scene.

Officers from Lake Macquarie and Newcastle City Police Districts, with assistance from the Dog and Mounted Command, established a perimeter and arrested two men – aged 20 and 19 – and a 16-year-old boy.

All three were taken to Waratah Police Station and charged. They remain before the courts.

Following further inquiries, investigators attended a home in Northfolk Street, Cardiff, and arrested a 19-year-old man just after 10pm yesterday.

He was taken to Toronto Police Station, where he was charged with eight offences, including:

  • two counts of be carried in conveyance taken without consent of owner,
  • two counts of obtain property by deception,
  • receive stolen property, goods in custody suspected of being stolen,
  • possess prohibited drug, and
  • possess housebreaking implements.

The Cardiff man was refused bail to appear before Newcastle Local Court today (Saturday 4 April 2020).

Social distancing in place at Summerhill Waste Management Centre

City of Newcastle continues to provide essential waste services and has implemented social distancing measures at Summerhill Waste Management Centre (WMC) as we work to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Public Health Order issued 30 March 2020 directs a person must not, without reasonable excuse, leave the person’s place of residence. Also, if you are feeling unwell, the advice is to stay at home.

Summerhill WMC remains open to the public, however the City is encouraging customers to only attend if they’re symptom free and it’s absolutely necessary.

Cash is no longer accepted at the weighbridge, with tap and go the preferred payment option, while dockets are no longer being issued upon entry.

Social distancing measures have been implemented at the Resource Recovery Centre, including the removal of communal brooms and shovels. Customers may instead bring their own.

For those who find it essential to visit Summerhill WMC please follow the social distancing measures and be considerate to Council staff and those around you.

City of Newcastle advises that due to the social distancing measures in place at Summerhill WMC there may be increased wait times or delays for customers.

All other waste services including kerbside collections and bulk waste are operating as usual. Any personal hygiene products or wastes that may have traces of bodily fluids, such as tissues, paper towel and nappies, should be double bagged.

For the latest updates on the City of Newcastle’s response to the COVID-19 and changes to services, visit