Dozens of Police were involved in a major operation on Monday, May 10 after a firearms incident in Ōrewa led to an extensive search involving the Police helicopter and Pine Valley Road in Dairy Flat being closed for eight hours. A 42-year-old man was subsequently arrested and charged with threats to kill and unlawfully carrying a firearm. Police said afterwards they would like to acknowledge residents of Ōrewa and Dairy Flat who may have been inconvenienced by the search activity.
Aside from that, an increase in thefts from cars has been an issue locally, according to area prevention manager Senior Sergeant Steve Pivac.
“We have recently seen more thefts of property from parked vehicles on the Hibiscus Coast, so we would like to encourage locking vehicles parked near roads and removing valuables,” he says.
Local officers have also been focusing on road safety, with schools going back and the recent change to fines for using a mobile phone while driving increasing from $80 to $150. Road safety is also causing a headache for Silverdale Fire Station’s senior station officer Jim Maclean.
“We are noticing drivers are obviously stressed and distracted, not noticing or responding to emergency vehicles behind them, or realising approaching vehicles may turn across their path or cross to their side of the road while overtaking,” he says. “Please take extra care when you see an emergency vehicle responding. Let it get safely past as soon as possible. Traffic islands and turning traffic may well make safe passing impossible if you continue until they are directly behind you.”
He says crews are also responding to a lot of rear-end collisions and seeing red light runners. “You will never get where you are going faster if the trip is via the panel beaters!” he says.
Silverdale crews attended three significant fires in one day on May 5. The first was what appeared to be a house fire off Grand Drive, Ōrewa, but which turned out to be a classic Ford Capri that had caught fire in a driveway. Later that day, crews attended a digger with its engine on fire at a building site in Silverdale and a significant grass fire from an out of control burn-off in Dairy Flat.
“Although the fire season has changed to ‘Open’, it is still unseasonably dry and fires get out of control quickly,” Jim says.