A NEW police jet ski squadron is out in force to improve marine safety across NSW.
Police Minister Troy Grant and NSW Maritime Services this week unveiled 14 new jet skis which will be used by the new Marine Enforcement Team (MET).
The MET is a dedicated mobile response unit that will be deployed to reduce marine-related crime and ensure safer waterways, Mr Grant said.
Marine Area Commander Superintendent Mark Hutchings said the MET was an additional resource that would allow officers to focus on proactive policing.
“With summer only a few weeks away, and the hot weather already here, these new jet skis will boost the capability of officers to target those that commit dangerous or anti-social activity on our waterways,” Superintendent Hutchings said.
“The Marine Enforcement Team is a specialist unit within the Marine Area Command and will be conducting regular, planned and high-visibility police operations throughout the warmer months.
“Police will be on the water throughout the season to enforce maritime laws, conduct random breath and drug tests, carry out safety checks on vessels, check boat licences, and ensure any other jet ski riders enjoy the sport safely,” he said.
Mr Grant said people should be able to head out on NSW waterways and enjoy their day without hoons and trouble makers causing problems; that is why the state government had invested more than $140,000 in the 14 new jet skis.
“With Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year around the corner, the jet ski squad will be launching major enforcement and crowd control operations during the busiest period on our waterways,” Mr Grant said.
“The versatility of the jet ski team will also greatly enhance the Marine Area Command’s ability to rapidly respond and deploy to incidents on the water and contain anti-social and dangerous behaviour.”
Executive director of maritime services, Angus Mitchell, said additional jet skis would help complement Roads and Maritime boating safety officers with patrolling NSW waterways.
“In the last two years it has been a whole government approach when it comes to improving waterway safety. This has included co-location in many areas, joint patrols, sharing of assets and sharing of intelligence.”