‘Two-up’ policing policy must be workable

Wangaratta Superintendent Paul O’Halloran wants a workable solution.
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A POLICY that bans Victorian police officers from working alone is straining resources in the North East.

Victoria Police is this week expected to announce changes to the policy, which forces most officers to work “two-up”.

The measures were announced earlier this month in light of increased security risks and concerns officers may be targeted and attacked.

The policy means police are being moved between stations, and police in smaller communities are forced to cover a wider area.

Many local officers have welcomed the added safety of the working two-up, but there are concerns about the effect the changes are having on response times.

Police Association secretary Ron Iddles recently told members via a newsletter there were some issues with the policy.

“Understandably, the changes have generated much discussion among our members,” he said.

“Like any change, teething problems always occur.

“Our discussions with Victoria Police have been productive (and) we expect that a revised policy will be released to members in the near future.”

Wangaratta Superintendent Paul O’Halloran said plans put in place needed to be “workable”.

“It needs to balance officer safety with community service,” he said.

Superintendent O’Halloran said there were challenges.

“But they cannot come at the expense of operation safety for members,” he said.

“I would welcome increased police numbers, but that’s really a matter for the government and Victoria Police executive command to consider.

“If there’s an expectation of two-up patrols across the force, then that’s something that the government and executive command may need to look at.”

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EDITORIAL: Stories need to be heard so city can find a way forward

As the hearings for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse roll on, more horrific details will emerge about what happened in our city and the stories will become harder to hear.
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While Ballarat is not alone in what occurred, the city is set to hear some of the terrible details first and the impact that will have on many in our community should not be underplayed.

What is important is that Ballarat as a community faces up to what happened all those years ago, because as hard as it may be for many of us to read and listen to those stories, it pales in com-

parison to what the survivors will go through over the next few weeks.

And we need to listen to those survivors so we can understand what they went through.

A tough day for #Ballarat. If you need help, call @beyondblue | 1300 22 4636 Or @LifelineAust | 13 11 14 or CASA Ballarat 1800 806 292

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True to her word, Doris turns 106

Reunited with Border Mail journalist Olivia Lambert. Picture: JOHN RUSSELLWHEN she turned 105, Doris Macken finished her interview with The Border Mail by saying “see you next year”.
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Yesterday, her 106th birthday, the Albury resident stayed true to her word, greeting the same reporter for her latest milestone.

As that journalist I couldn’t believe how she had managed to keep her biological clock ticking.

Miss Macken’s lips were still polished with lipstick, her neck adorned with pearls and her spirit still that of someone half her age.

“I’m pleased to see you — well not really,” she said yesterday.

“You don’t want your photo taken when you’re 106.”

Doris Macken yesterday celebrated her 106th birthday with her great niece Louise Hobson and niece Lesley McClintock.

In the past year Miss Macken has moved into the new Albury and District Nursing Home on Logan Road, but not much else has changed — except for her love of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

At her 105th birthday, Miss Macken said he was her favourite out of the 25 prime ministers she has lived to see but she began to question that affection after he awarded a knighthood to Prince Philip.

I had hoped, that in the past 12 months Miss Macken might have figured out the secret to her longevity.

But just as she told me last year, she said “if I knew I’d patent it”.

Miss Macken surprises many with her age, her 82-year-old niece Lesley McClintock has even been mistaken as her sister.

“I don’t know if I’m getting older or if she’s getting younger,” Ms McClintock said.

Miss Macken is close to take the record for the oldest woman to live in Albury — it is held by Daisy Gill who died just short of her 108th birthday in 2012.

Miss Macken did not promise to see The Border Mail next year.

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Knuckledusters were ‘in case I get attacked’

NORTH Albury man Connor Eyers has twice been the victim of assaults and had knuckledusters in his possession for his protection.
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But a court heard police officers found the silver metal knuckledusters along with a pipe used for smoking ice when they searched Eyers at Lavington last month.

He had attracted police attention by being involved in the theft of a motorbike from a residence in Tulla Street, North Albury.

Eyers went there with other unknown men about 8.30am on April 28.

They went to a back shed through an unlocked side gate and took a 125cc thumpster motorcycle.

It was wheeled down the driveway and the handle bars were loosened to get the bike in the back seat of a Commodore.

Eyers removed the side guard.

But police were notified of the theft and stopped the car in Shirleen Crescent at Lavington.

Eyers, 19, of Tarakan Avenue, pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court yesterday to charges of stealing property, possessing a prohibited weapon and possessing equipment for administering a prohibited drug.

Solicitor Mark Cronin said Eyers was a passenger in the car and simply tagged along with the others.

Mr Cronin said Eyers is unsure whether others involved in the theft have been charged with the motorcycle theft.

“That has been recovered. Thankfully there was no damage to it,” Mr Cronin said.

Eyers was put on two-year bonds and fined $300 on the other two charges.

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Cow has drivers in a spin

A STRAY cow has caused havoc on the Hume Highway, with five vehicles driving into the animal.
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Three cars and two trucks hit the Hereford cow near the Broken River bridge at Benalla about 7.30pm on Monday.

Police are amazed no one was injured in the incident, with three cars towed from the scene and the undercarriage of one of the trucks damaged.

“One of the truck drivers couldn’t believe it,” Sergeant Jeffrey Kyne said.

“One of the cars hit the cow while travelling beside the truck, became airborne, landed squarely and the driver managed to bring it to a stop without any further incident.

“All the vehicles have clipped the cow and run over it.

“Everyone has been extremely lucky.”

Sgt Kyne said it was hard to see the animal at night, especially when high-beam lights were not in use.

A lack of feed in paddocks was causing animals to wander, he said.

“There is more feed available for animals and wildlife on the edge of the freeway than in paddocks,” Sgt Kyne said.

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