Joint police operation assists island base

Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), LSIS Brad Darvill (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling

Petty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Kate Taylor conducts a breath test as Naval Police Officers and Rockingham policing teams perform a pro-active high visibility vehicle stops near the entry of HMAS Stirling as part of a joint initiative code named Operation LERINA.  (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Petty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Kate Taylor conducts a breath test as Naval Police Officers and Rockingham policing teams perform a pro-active high visibility vehicle stops near the entry of HMAS Stirling as part of a joint initiative code named Operation LERINA.

Naval Police Coxswains at HMAS Stirling and Western Australia Police have performed proactive high visibility vehicle stops outside the base as part of a joint initiative - named Operation LERINA.

The operation targeted all personnel travelling onto the home of Stirling, Garden Island – looking out for unregistered vehicles, safety issues, legal compliance and those driving under the influence.

Warrant Officer Naval Police Coxswain Glen Wright said that his team’s role was to support the operation by conducting breath testing and checking Navy members’ compliance with dress and bearing, and displaying military identification.

Operation LERINA is an example of the close relationship between Navy and the local authorities and was a fitting reminder to all road users in the region on road safety in the lead up to Christmas period.

“With the expansion of Fleet Base West and more people working on Garden Island – it’s important that we have the presence of local police in support ensuring further security and safety compliance on the base,” Warrant Officer Wright said.

“Naval Police Coxswains and Rockingham Police worked together to establish a vehicle control point within the carpark area immediately outside the entry to Stirling.

“More than 1000 vehicles travelled onto the base during the operation and we breathalysed about half of those vehicles.

“It was a pleasing to see that there were no infringements and only a few minor breaches and cautions issued in violation to the road traffic laws. 

“This is the second time this year that we have worked on a joint activity and we will continue and look forward to conducting joint operations in the future.

“Overall a very productive joint operation for the purpose of ‘visual force’ strength by enhancing the working relationship with Western Australia Police coupled with ensuring the safety and vehicle compliance for all Defence and civilians accessing Defence land.”

Western Australia Police Operation Coordinator Sergeant Chris Campbell said that Navy were key stakeholders in the Rockingham community and needed to work together to get the best results.

“We’ve identified that the Point Peron area, has recently experienced an increase in the amount of reported stealing from vehicles, increased volume of unknown vehicles and people congregating near the entry to Naval Base,” Sergeant Campbell said.

“We want to make sure we identify who is coming to Garden Island and that they behave appropriately while on the roads, and they are where they meant to be – given that this is a high security establishment.

“The joint operation went well with both taking on each other’s roles, it played out well once we got into the flow of it and we learnt from each other.”

The success of the operation was evident in the statistics with 1090 vehicles checked, 800 random breath tests, 12 tickets (mostly phone use whilst driving), five cautions, two work orders on vehicles and one suspended driver court brief.