“SELFISH, dangerous driving” saw some of Canberra’s streets turn into a scene from “Fast and Furious” over the weekend, according to the officer in charge of City Police Station, Adrian Craft, who says people involved in those incidents can expect a visit from police soon.
Early on Friday (January 8) night, police were forced to close Braddon’s Lonsdale Street for public safety concerns after reports of burnouts and dangerous driving during an unregulated car cruise.
At about 10.40pm, a large crowd then gathered at the corner of Yallourn Street and Canberra Avenue, Fyshwick, where spectators threw items, smashing the rear window of a police car with a bottle, and verbally abused officers.
The same behaviour occurred on Saturday night, which saw police again shut Lonsdale Street, seize two cars due to burnouts, and observe someone setting off a firework at a Hume service station.
Some of the incidents over the weekend are still being investigated but Insp Craft says they’ve received a number of reports and information from members of the public through Crime Stoppers in relation to identifying offenders, and people who were involved in that can expect to receive a visit from police soon.
The behaviour over the weekend was unexpected by police, who were forced to ramp up their resources to regulate the dangerous driving.
“The actual nature and the size caught us quite by surprise. There was no organised Summernats event so we didn’t expect this sort of thing,” Insp Craft says.
“When Summernats is on our roster and apply our resources accordingly but on this occasion it was just what we would have considered a normal Saturday night but then had to deploy further resources to deal with what we were faced with because of the behaviour on Friday night.
“There were up to 1000 people out at Canberra Avenue and Fyshwick on Saturday night.”
“The absence of an event doesn’t justify the behaviour,” Insp Craft says.
“To use the excuse that there’s no Summernats to justify this sort of behaviour is childish and immature.”
Things can go wrong quickly, says Insp Craft who warns of the dangers of standing in front of a vehicle doing burnouts, such as serious injuries and death.
“We’ve seen this happen in the past, we saw a recent tragic incident in Wellington and NSW around the poor driving of a vehicle and the ramifications of that,” he says.
“We’ve seen incidents happen across Australia and around the world where people have driven vehicles in irresponsible manners and that’s led to injury and death of people.”