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Operation Nomad


It's fire danger season, and Operation Nomad, SAPOL's response to the threat posed by bushfires is on in force.

Assistant Commissioner Bronwyn Killmier, Officer in Charge of Operation Nomad, says the focus is on prevention by providing a highly visible policing presence in high risk bushfire areas and cracking down on people with a propensity to start fires.

"Paying close attention to people of interest (POI) identified by police intelligence areas will have a critical role."

"This season, police are monitoring 217 POI, which includes 29 High Risk, 59 Significant Risk and 129 Possible Risk POI.

"Police will be making personal contact visits to POI according to their assessed risk to the community as well as the weather of the day."

"This strict contact regime is designed to disrupt and reduce fire setting opportunities throughout the season."

"Identifying, disrupting and apprehending criminal or deliberate fire setters and providing a rapid response to the outbreak of bushfires to reduce the impact on the community are key elements in our strategy."

"Police will be showing a zero tolerance approach to breaches of fire laws, we'll be actively and vigorously monitoring people of interest and we have a coordinated approach to investigations."

"Another weapon police will also use again this season is the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system."

"ANPR reads vehicle registration number plates as the police vehicle travels along. The camera scans vehicles passing and captures an image of the number plate."

"Scanned plates are then validated against a special download of the Nomad Hot List database."

"The system immediately alerts operators if any vehicles of interest are detected and also records a digital photograph of the vehicle, the rego plate and location of the detection using GPS."

Through ongoing education, police also hope to reduce the incidence of fires caused by reckless or indifferent behaviour.

"Children lighting fires is also an issue, with many occasions where police have had to speak to children under the age of 10 in relation to starting fires."

"Parents should be aware what their children are doing at all times, and ensure there is no access to matches, aerosol cans and magnifying glasses."

"During the 2010- 2011 Fire Danger Season, prescribed equipment and vehicle exhausts caused 116* fires, so we remind farmers and property owners that their equipment/machinery must be serviced, to help prevent fires on rural properties."

"We are asking everyone to be alert, and anyone who sees anything at all suspicious is asked to call police; please don't take chance that some else will call ."

Police also remind people working on the land that fire extinguishing equipment is required to be within the property during any harvesting or related work, and non-compliance will result in a fine.

Police work closely with all agencies in the Fire Prevention Strategic Alliance Committee to ensure the Fire and Emergency Act is complied with.

Penalties under the Act range from a maximum 20-year jail sentence for a deliberately lit fire, to a $315 fine for lighting a fire during the fire danger season.

For further information on bushfire season vist the CFS website.

*Fires caused by prescribed equipment & exhaust, 2010-2011 Fire Danger Season

Equipment fires caused

Vehicle exhausts 16
Harvester/header 49
Angle grinder/welders 19
Ride on mover/lawn mower 16
Slasher 9
Baler/Bailing machine 5
Brush cutter 1
Trash cutter 1


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