Child approached – Broke

Police are appealing for information after reports of a child approach in the Hunter region today.

About 2pm (Friday 15 January 2021), a teenage boy was at a skate park on Milbrodale Road, Broke, when he was approached by a man driving a white van.

Police have been told the man spoke to the boy, aged 13, before offering to give him lollies if he got into the vehicle.

The boy declined and began walking along Wollombi Road. He noticed the van following him before running home and informing a family member.

The incident was reported to police and an investigation commenced by officers from Hunter Valley Police District.

As inquiries continue, police would like to speak to a man who may be able to assist with inquiries.

He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, aged in his 40s, with long black hair, a beard and was dressed in all black.

Police are also appealing for anyone who may have seen a white van or may have been driving in the area with a dashcam around the time of the incident, to come forward.

Girl dies after being pulled from a swimming pool – Maitland

A teenager has died while swimming in a public pool in the Hunter region this afternoon.

About 3.30pm today (Friday 15 January 2021), emergency services were called to an aquatic centre on Les Darcy Drive, Maitland, following reports a teenager was in trouble in the water.

A 13-year old girl, yet to be formally identified, was pulled from the water and lifeguards commenced CPR.

NSW Ambulance paramedics attended and continued CPR before transferring her to John Hunter Hospital, however, she later died.

Officers attached to Port Stephen-Hunter Police District attended and have commenced inquiries.

A report will be provided for the information of the coroner.

Woman charged with Public Health Order breach – Helensburgh

A woman has been charged after allegedly refusing to wear a mask in the Illawarra region.

About 2.50pm (Thursday 14 January 2021), officers from the Wollongong Police Transport Command were patrolling a train travelling between Thirroul and Helensburgh, when they observed a woman not wearing a mask.

It’s alleged the 47-year-old woman refused to answer questions or provide police with identification. She was issued a move-on direction at Helensburgh Train Station and provided with a mask by police.

It’s further alleged the woman returned to the train platform minutes later, and again refused to wear a mask or provide police with any form of identification.

The Earlwood woman was arrested and taken to Wollongong Police Station, where she was charged with fail to wear fitted face covering on public transport, interfere with comfort and safety of others, not state name and address to authorised officer, and fail to comply with request to leave restricted area.

She was granted bail to appear at Wollongong Local Court on Thursday 28 January 2021.

Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community.

Anyone with information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of COVID-19-related ministerial directions 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 information via NSW Police social media pages.

Drugs and cash seized, two men charged – Gateshead

Two men will appear at court today charged over alleged drug offences in the Lake Macquarie area.

Officers from the Lake Macquarie Police District have been investigating the alleged supply of prohibited drugs, mainly methylamphetamine, in the Windale and Gateshead areas.

As a result of ongoing inquiries, police were conducting patrols of the Gateshead area when they stopped and spoke with a 38-year-old man on Coral Crescent about 10.40am yesterday (Thursday 14 January 2021).

During a person search, officers allegedly located methylamphetamine.

He was arrested and taken to Belmont Police Station.

About 4.40pm that same day, detectives executed a search warrant at a home on Coral Crescent and arrested a 54-year-old man.

During the search, police located and seized methylamphetamine, cannabis, and more than $20,000 in cash.

Both men were taken to Belmont Police Station, where the older man was charged with five offences, including supply indictable quantity prohibited drug, recklessly deal with the proceeds of crime and possess prohibited drug.

The younger man was charged with supply indictable quantity prohibited drug and possess prohibited drug.

Both men were refused bail to appear at Belmont Local Court today (Friday 15 January 2021).

Government launches new headspace centre in Batemans Bay

Young people in Batemans Bay and surrounds will now have easier access to mental health services with the opening of a new headspace centre today.

The new service was announced as a satellite service as part of the Australian Government’s $111.3 million funding commitment to establish 30 new headspace services. Given the particularly devastating impact of the bushfires on the New South Wales South Coast, the Government announced the expansion of the service to a full centre in January 2020.

The new service is located at 1/11 Clyde Street, Batemans Bay.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said young people have been affected significantly by the impacts of the bushfires and COVID-19, and access to mental health services and support was more important than ever.

“There are more pressures on young people today than ever before and the expansion of headspace will be vitally important in providing services in Batemans Bay,” Minister Hunt said.

“I am committed to ensuring young Australians can get information, advice, counselling or treatment, when and where they need it.”

“headspace is here to deliver quality frontline support and ensure the best possible care for people who are at risk. We know intervention at the earliest possible stage is important to reduce the duration and impact of mental illness, so I encourage young people in our community to reach out for the help they need.”

The headspace program aims to improve access for young people aged 12 to 25 years who have, or are at risk of, mental illness.

One in four people aged 16 to 24 experiences some form of mental illness every year, and three-quarters of all mental illness manifests in people under the age of 25.

Senator for New South Wales, Jim Molan AO DSC, said Bateman’s Bay headspace would offer early intervention services across four key areas – mental health, related physical health, social and vocational support, and alcohol and other drug use.

“Bateman’s Bay headspace, like every headspace service, will provide tailored and holistic mental health support, working closely with young people at a crucial time in their lives to help get them back on track and strengthen their ability to manage their mental health in the future,” Senator Molan said.

“Services are co-designed with young people to ensure they are relevant, accessible and highly effective.”

The Government continues to demonstrate its firm commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians, providing a record investment in mental health services and support of an estimated $5.7 billion this year alone.

The headspace service has been commissioned by the South Eastern New South Wales Primary Health Network and is designed to meet the needs of young people in Batemans Bay.

Temporary closure of Summerhill’s Community Recycling Centre

Community members looking to drop off common household problem waste at Summerhill Waste Management Centre are being encouraged to postpone their visit following the temporary closure of the Community Recycling Centre (CRC).

The CRC provides a free drop-off point for waste items that can’t be placed in kerbside waste and recycling collection bins, including household quantities of paint and paint-related products, motor oils and cooking oils, gas bottles, fire extinguishers, car and household batteries, smoke detectors, fluorescent light globes and tubes as well as printer cartridges and X-rays.

However, high demand over the Christmas period has seen the centre’s storage limits temporarily approaching capacity, ahead of its scheduled fortnightly collection.

Community members unable to postpone their visit can make free use of the neighbouring CRC facilities at Awaba, Cessnock and Salamander Bay. Residents should avoid choosing Maitland’s facility as an alternate drop-off as it is also experiencing higher than usual demand and is nearing its capacity limit as well.

Locations and operating hours are available at cleanout.com.au.

This is the first time Summerhill has had to temporarily close the facility since the CRC opened. Regular operation of the site will recommence as soon as possible.

All other services at Summerhill Waste Management Centre are operating as usual, including the Sort and Save service for Newcastle residents.

Community Recycling Centres are an initiative of the NSW Environment Protection Authority in partnership with local councils.

SERVICE NSW APP DOWNLOADS HIT 3 MILLION

Customers have heeded advice and embraced the NSW Government’s Service NSW Mobile app for checking in safely to venues, with more than 3 million app downloads already recorded.

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello welcomed the milestone and urged more customers to download the app and reap the rewards.

“The app is the keys to the front door for customers wanting to enter businesses. It simple to use and will help keep the community safe and the economy open,” Mr Dominello said.

“Since 1 January hospitality businesses and hairdressers have been required to use the NSW Government’s Service NSW QR code for registering customers’ details. It is equally important for customers to do their part and download the app so the process is as seamless as possible.

“The app makes life easier for people – whether it’s downloading a Digital Driver Licence or renewing vehicle registration – the technology saves people time.

“It only takes a few minutes to download the app and seconds to scan the QR code. Do yourself a favour and download it now.”

100,000 businesses have registered customers with the Service NSW QR code, and there have been about 32 million COVID safe check-ins through the app, with 94 per cent of customers giving it the thumbs up.

Feedback received from contact tracers is that the Service NSW QR code is the most effective system in assisting NSW Health to protect the community.

It also prevents the use of fake names as a customer’s personal details are automatically captured via the Service NSW app when they scan their smartphone over the QR code.

Personal information obtained by businesses is held securely by the Government and only used by NSW Health in the event of an outbreak. It is destroyed after 28 days.

Missing teenage girl located – Newcastle

A missing teenage girl from Newcastle has been located safe and well.

The 12-year-old was last seen in Newcastle on Wednesday 23 December 2020.

Following extensive inquiries, she was located at a Woodberry property about 7.50pm yesterday (Wednesday 14 January 2021).

Police would like to thank the media and the public for their assistance.

Man charged with property offences in Lake Macquarie and Newcastle

A man will face court today charged over alleged property offences in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.

Sometime between 3pm on Sunday (10 January) and 7.30am on Monday (11 January 2021), police will allege two businesses on Pendlebury Road at Cardiff were broken into, with laptops, iPads, power tools and other industrial equipment taken.

Following extensive inquiries by the Lake Macquarie Police District Proactive Crime Team, officers stopped a Mazda 6 on Minmi Road, Fletcher, about 1.30pm yesterday (Wednesday 14 January 2021) and spoke with a 31-year-old man.

Police conducted a search of the vehicle where they allegedly located items believed to be stolen from the above premises as well as methylamphetamine and housebreaking implements.

The man was arrested and taken to Toronto Police Station, where he was charged with 10 offences, including:

  • Enter inclosed land not prescribed premises without lawful excuse
  • Larceny
  • Destroy/damage property (x2)
  • Aggravated break and enter dwelling etc in company steal
  • Aggravated break and enter commit indictable offence-in company-steal
  • Possess housebreaking implements
  • Possess prohibited drug
  • Goods in personal custody suspected being stolen

Police will allege in court the Birmingham Gardens man was involved in property offences around the Newcastle area in December 2020.

He was refused bail to appear at Toronto Local Court today (Thursday 14 January 2021).

Statement on Ocean Bath cleanliness

The summer cleaning schedule at Newcastle Ocean Baths and Merewether Ocean Baths, and the cleaning hours for staff at the baths, have not been reduced.

During the past month, a number of factors have contributed to the cleanliness of Newcastle Ocean Baths. The recent wet weather has impacted ocean water quality, which in turn impacts the water quality of the baths.

The already larger summer visitor numbers at Newcastle Ocean Baths increased this week due to shark sightings, which forced the closure of Nobbys and Newcastle Beaches for two consecutive days.

Newcastle Ocean Baths and Merewether Ocean Baths have also been the target of antisocial behaviour including vandalism to the facilities and rubbish and objects thrown into the pool.

Cleaning crews conducted a routine weekly clean at Newcastle Ocean Baths today to ensure that the baths are in the best condition possible ahead of the forecasted high temperatures and low-high tides both today and Thursday.

While City of Newcastle schedules weekly cleaning of Newcastle Ocean Baths and Merewether Ocean Baths, the ability to clean the pool is highly dependent on surf conditions, tidal heights and the weather. The onsite pumps can assist in controlling cleanliness, however they can only operate during mid to high tides and as such are unfortunately not always able to be used.

Additionally, water quality is heavily influenced by the naturally occurring water quality of the ocean and the debris present. During summer, warmer water accelerates algae growth resulting in a build-up on the walls. Although this results in the appearance of an unclean pool, regular testing indicates that the water quality is acceptable for public swimming.

City of Newcastle will continue to investigate and trial options to increase water quality lifecycles, while attempting to minimise pool cleaning shutdowns of the Ocean Baths to achieve a balance between availability and cleanliness.