On the beat: The good, the sad and the ugly

Deb Thurgood and Daniel Glen lay a wreath on behalf of the Police

I hope you had a good week and that any children in your households have now settled back into school routines. I was proud to be able to join colleagues to represent Cambridge

Police at the Anzac parade and ceremony last week. It was great to see such a good community turnout to honour those who sacrificed themselves for us.

As police, we often work together with our fellow emergency services. This week Cambridge has sadly lost another good man, Cambridge Chief Fire Officer Don Gerrand.

He will be much missed and I pass on my sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

In other news, last weekend police became aware of an assault involving a number of youth, within the Lakewood retail complex. We have been able to identify those involved and investigations are progressing. We are also aware however that some present recorded cell phone videos of the incident and that they have since been shared amongst our young people.

Firstly, if you or your teenager see an assault in progress, please phone 111 and do not assume that others have called police. When everyone makes the same assumption, sometimes no one calls.  As I regularly say, we can be more effective if we are made aware of incidents when they are in progress. Equally, if you become aware of your child having recorded or being in possession of such a video, please also consider contacting police.

Be aware that while witness accounts are useful for our investigations, gratuitous and unnecessary distribution of such videos risks glorifying the offence being committed, creates community unrest and may impede a police investigation.

On a final note, I see that we have had a few drink driving catches lately. Some of these resulted from calls about dangerous driving but others were apprehended through our routine traffic checkpoints.   With social activities returning more towards normal, it is perhaps timely to give a reminder about the role we as a community play in reducing alcohol harm.

First and foremost, individual responsibility is key. As the saying goes, plan before you party. For every person that chooses to drive after having consumed excess alcohol however, there are friends and bystanders who witness their action. In that situation we each make a choice as to whether or not to intervene.

If unable to prevent or influence the person’s driving actions directly, call 111 and provide vehicle and driver details. Always also include a direction of travel or details of the persons intended destination. As hosts, ensure the safety of party invitees or patrons through providing food, offering accommodation or making available a sober driver. If you don’t drink and drive, you are a legend.

Police at Don Gerrand’s funeral on May 7.

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