Turning yourself in best option

PEOPLE with old warrants hanging over their heads could save themselves added grief by turning themselves in, police say.

A total of 23 people were arrested across the Northern Rivers this month following a three-day police operation targeting offenders with outstanding warrants and bail infringements.

Six were caught in the Tweed-Byron area and 17 in Richmond.

Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Greg Moore said it was only a matter of time before police caught up with offenders, though they could expect better outcomes if they came forward to police of their own accord.

“The court can take into consideration the length of time since the offence; the offender’s remorsefulness; and their record if they haven’t re-offended in the meantime,” he said.

“If you did have any unresolved or outstanding court matters, it would be much better to come forward and clear them up.”

Operation Avert 5 is now in its fifth year and operates in conjunction with random breath testing units to detect offenders through licence and registration checks.

Det Insp Moore said Richmond police conducted 320 random breath tests netting the 17 offenders and resulting in 28 charges.

One offender was arrested for breaching parole and a further six drivers were caught for a range of drink-driving offences.

Tweed-Byron Local Area Command Inspector Owen King also described the operation as a success though his officers had to work harder for their results.

Tweed-Byron police conducted 825 random breath tests netting six offenders on outstanding warrants – though a further 10 people were arrested and charged for other matters. Another 13 people were charged with drink-driving offences.

Across the State, police conducted 42,281 random breath tests and caught 903 offenders wanted on outstanding warrants. Fingerprint and DNA identification resulted in 1386 charges being laid.

Assistant Commissioner Alan Clarke said that despite the great results achieved by Operation Avert 5, police would continue to target those who broke the law and further operations were planned for the future.

“It just goes to show that no matter how hard people try to hide and avoid police, we will always catch up with them sooner or later and you just never know when there will be a knock on your door,” he said.

The outstanding arrest warrants were for offences including break and enter, stealing, malicious damage, robbery, breach of parole and traffic offences.

Operation Avert 5 STATS

903 people arrested and charged with 1386 offences.


127 people arrested for breach of bail resulting in 127 charges.


197 people arrested for outstanding warrants, resulting in 250 charges


56 people arrested based on DNA and fingerprint analysis resulting in 84 charges.

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