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More river police are needed, locals say after Operation Riversafe
Plus a photographer is charged with child sex offences, a road chase ends near Murray Bridge and Tailem Bend police make a drug raid.
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Police need to be more active on the River Murray, despite a recent water safety operation, Murray Bridge residents say.
Nicole Petrie has resorted to paying take her children for a river swim at Murray Bridge Marina these days, as she said Long Island Reserve was too dangerous.
She described ski boats flying past the jetty there, only a few metres from swimmers, on more than one occasion.
“The locals come out and feel safe, but only Monday to Thursday,” she said.
“Come the weekend, it’s a circus.”
As for a police presence, she said: “I’ve never seen one”.
She has since started a petition for a greater police presence at the reserve.
Another Murray Bridge News reader, Matt, described jet ski riders speeding past the jetty, failing to give way to other vessels and even racing down the eastern side of Long Island, which is supposed to be reserved for rowing and sailing.
“Behaviour like that gives all jet ski users a bad name,” he said.
“(It’s) about time SA Police came for a cruise.”
A dozen boat users were fined and 28 cautioned after a recent police operation targeting bad behaviour on the River Murray.
Police checked on 224 boats and made contact with 600 people in the Murraylands and Riverland during Operation Riversafe, which ended last week.
Overall, they were happy with most people’s behaviour, particularly around wearing life jackets; but Superintendent Scott Denny said there was no room for complacency.
“Members of SAPOL will continue to monitor the river for behaviours that put all users at risk and will take action accordingly,” he said.
“I urge all river users to be responsible, look out for yourself and for others and to report any suspicious behaviour to SAPOL by calling 131 444.”
Sign the petition: www.change.org.
Photographer charged over indecent assaults
Meanwhile, a photographer has been charged with child sex offences after alleged assaults against several children, including from a Murray Bridge family.
Police arrested the 35-year-old from Adelaide's northern suburbs last Tuesday and charged him with two counts of indecent assault, and one of procuring a child for sexual activity.
One of the charges stemmed from a photo shoot in Murray Bridge.
The man faced court on Wednesday.
Police chase ends near the Swanport Hotel
Police have used road spikes at Murray Bridge South to stop a driver they had been pursuing all the way from Victoria.
Victorian police had originally tried to pull over a grey Ford Falcon on the other side of the state line at 5.30am last Tuesday.
SA Police did the same when they spotted the car at Wolseley, on the other side of Bordertown, at 9.15am, but it sped off.
It was later seen speeding through Tailem Bend, too.
Patrols managed to catch up with the driver after he crossed the Swanport Bridge and turned onto Jervois Road, though he took some catching – he allegedly ran from the car after its tyres were spiked.
The man, a 41-year-old from Seaview Downs, was charged with dangerous driving and taken to hospital.
Tailem Bend police join drug raid
A cannabis crop has been discovered on the Coorong by SA Police officers from Tailem Bend and Meningie.
The officers raided a property near Salt Creek on February 3.
They allegedly found 44 mature plants and a sophisticated, solar-powered automated growing setup which could be controlled remotely.
Anyone with more information about the crop should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at www.crimestoppers.sa.gov.au.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the Long Island Reserve jetty as a pontoon.
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