LET'S GO CRUISIN
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Let's Go Cruisin
PO Box 289
Mt. Martha VIC 3934
cruisinletsgo@hotmail.com
12/04/2011

For the attention of entrants at Let’s Go Cruisin’ Peninsula Cruise Nights.

Most of you will be aware that the Let’s Go Cruisin’ Cruise Night has been subjected to, in our view unwarranted ‘attention’ by police officers from the Traffic Management Unit. This attention came about after an investigation into a fatal road accident involving a street rod on SR plates that was reported to be travelling to the 2008 Santa Cruz event. Certain officers harbor a view that because we were hosting this event, we in some way contributed to this accident. We have consistently rejected this view as to the best of our knowledge, the car’s owner had never attended any LGC event prior, had only recently acquired the car involved and we have little influence over how cars are used when not actually at our event. This culminated in an ‘unjustified and inappropriate’ operation our Santa Cruz cruise night last December.

The operation netted zero over .05’s and two defect notices out of over 500 drivers tested and cars present.

We filed a formal complaint to the Chief Commissioner of Police, claiming ongoing ‘victimization’ of car owners attending our events by one particular officer, the excessive nature of the operation that utilized a preliminary breath testing [PBT] operation to blockade all exits and entrances to the Lifestyle car park and the intimidating behavior demonstrated by a number of officers as they ‘patrolled’ the venue. All those that were present will have clear memory of how inappropriate this operation was. It was clearly intended to harass entrants from attending our events.

Members of Let’s Go Cruisin’ Inc committee recently met with Inspector Shayne Pannell, the senior police officer for the Mornington Peninsula region to hear the police response to our complaint. The Inspector’s responses are summarized below:

  • The Inspector reported that the police had ‘no issues’ with LGC as a club or an event organizer.
  • The operation was approved based on recommendations from Hastings TMU that significant numbers of cars with registration and roadworthiness issues regularly attended our cruise nights.
  • With only two defect notices and no over .05’s registered, clearly, the results did not support this claim. The results did not justify the level of resources tied up and as a result, he would be unlikely to approve a similar operation at any future LGC event.
  • The PBT should not have been used to ‘blockade’ the venue exits, but been positioned on a public road as would be the normal process
  • It was not authorized as a joint operation between VicRoads and TMU

In summary, the Inspector confirmed that with the benefit of hindsight, the operation was not warranted and was excessive in its execution.

We also discussed the concerns we raised last year over the use of the ‘Present your Vehicle Inspection’ demand letter sent out by LSC Proctor based at Frankston. The Inspector confirmed that should any car owner receive this letter in the future they will be able to present their vehicle at the nearest TMU station convenient to their residential address. It will no longer be a requirement to present it TMU Frankston only. We’d request that any car owner receiving this notice in future as a result of attending our events to contact us immediately.

We emphasized our position that we wish to maintain an effective working relationship with all sections of police as we value their advice and involvement in managing the ‘idiot factor’ that unfortunately does exist in our community. To this end, S/Sgt D Collins was assigned as our TMU liaison officer and we look forward to working with both S/Sgt Collins and the OIC at Mornington Police station to ensure that responsible car enthusiasts that drive registered and roadworthy cars, can enjoy attending our events without the fear of unreasonable policing activity.

We’d like to thank the entrants who responded to our request after Santa Cruz to contact us and provide us with details of any contact with police on the night. It proved to be most helpful in forming our response to the police action.

We’d also like to thank the many people who signed the petition protesting the operation. This was presented to our local MP, the Hon David Morris, and again proved very helpful in gaining his involvement in resolving the issues arising from the police operation at Santa Cruz.

We’d also like to thank the entrants who have continued to attend our cruise nights since last December even though it was well broadcast by the ‘jungle drums’ that our cruise night was now ‘off limits’ for street rods and modified cars. Yes, our attendance numbers were well below the same months last year, but those that did attend enjoyed being there with 200 plus other car owners and we appreciate your support.

Lastly, we’d recommend the following to any club hosting events for owners of modified cars the following advice based on our experience gained from this incident.

Do not wait for a problem to occur before developing a relationship with key government officials. If not already done so, request a meeting with your local MP to introduce your club and the activities that occur in their electorate. Better still, invite them to an event. Do the same with the ‘senior’ police officers in your locale. Be aware that the Officer in Charge at your local station may not represent the TMU which sits in a different organization division, in which case, repeat the relationship building with the TMU also.

We decided to resolve our complaint by using the Police Complaint Process. Details are available from the police web site under ‘Compliments & Complaints ’. Although it takes the police some time to go through its various steps, the final outcome indicates that it can work towards a satisfactory outcome.

Alan Newton President - Let’s Go Cruisin’ Association

   
21/12/2010

Update-TMU operation at Santa Cruz
As anyone who was at Santa Cruz in Mornington last Tuesday observed, the operation mounted by the TMU and VicRoads was hard to avoid. The members of Let’s Go Cruisin are stunned by the aggressive and unjustifiable intrusion by TMU and VicRoads officers into what was a great family affair bringing enjoyment to hundreds of children and their parents in the spirit of Christmas.

What we’ve done to date.

We have met with the Officer in Charge of Mornington Police. Although not involved in the operation, he was able to confirm the operation was authorized by a regional TMU Inspector to target the Cruise Night.

As a result, we have prepared a formal complaint to the Chief Commissioner of Police. We will provide the details of our complaint at a later time.

We have also met with the state MP for Mornington. He has offered to support our filing of a formal complaint and will stay involved with the review process.

We have a new government recently elected. This means a new Police Minister and a new Minister for Transport. We should give these newly elected representatives every opportunity to be involved in this situation before we consider further action if required.

What you can do to help: 
If you were at Santa Cruz.
If you have received an infringement notice or a demand for your car to be inspected by LSC Proctor or VicRoads as a result of your attendance, please contact us. We need to be informed of what the officials are actually doing in order to assist you and help protect our common interests. You can write to us at PO Box 289 Mt Martha 3934, or via email at cruisinletsgo@hotmail.co .
If you have not received any infringement notices but were unhappy with any aspect of the TMU operation, again, please contact us, or lodge a complaint to your local MP or the Victoria Police There’s an easy complaint process on the Police web site to utilize.
If you were not at Santa Cruz
If you feel angered by what you’ve heard or read, we will have a petition to sign at our January Cruise Night on January 4th. The more voices increase the chance that they might be heard. If you wish to avoid the obvious hassle created by a Police or VicRoads official deciding your car is unroadworthy when away from home, but want to show your support for the continuation of our cruise night, come in your daily driver. We will get this sorted one way or another, but we need your continued support at our cruise nights to do it!
As we’ve stated in the past, when attending any Let’s Go Cruisin’ event, please ensure that your car is registered to be driven there, is free of obvious roadworthy issues and is driven responsibly to the event, at the event and on the way home. Ultimately, this is the best way to ensure all car based events such as ours have a future.

December 18th 2010

The Let’s Go Cruisin’ Crew.

If you were at Santa Cruz and would like to voice your view on the impact of the TMU operation but don’t relish the thought of having to sit down and write out how you feel, here’s a version from Steve & Sue that we thought expressed it pretty well.

If you wish to put your name to this, copy and paste the text below and address it to your local MP (list of sitting members, list of shadow members ), or use the complaint section on the Police web site. More voices makes a louder noise.

To:
On Tuesday 7th Dec I attended the monthly Cruise Night held at the Peninsula Lifestyle Centre Bungower Road Mornington, an excellent evening with the weather staying fine the whole time. Organized by hard working volunteers, this event is always a safe, responsible, well run and family oriented evening, a credit to the motoring enthusiasts involved and attending. This evening was no different with a great turnout of classic and modified cars and of course the man in red for the littlies.
The local law enforcement officers decided to have a "road safety initiative" with vehicle inspections and breath testing of those attending and leaving the venue.
There has never been any trouble at this very well run event.
The police could do well to apply this strategy to other similar events such as horse race meetings, football matches, golf competitions etc - anywhere that a large group of people are having a well organized social gathering on the Peninsula. – they would get more .05 drivers than they did on Tuesday evening which was zero!
Your assistance to avoid a repeat of this regrettable action by the police would be appreciated

Yours Sincerely
[ 1 ]

1. Note this text has been edited [21/12/2010 3:26pm] to remove any misconception that LGC or rodders in general are asking for any special consideration in regards breath testing or vehicle inspections
12/12/2010

Announcement re TMU operation at Santa Cruz 2010

As anyone who was at Santa Cruz last Tuesday observed, the operation mounted by the TMU and VicRoads was hard to avoid.

This was not an isolated incident nor was it the first time that we have experienced this sort of attention. At that time we sought and had meetings with the local police and the TMU and believed there was a resolution to this issue. Unfortunately that does not seem to be the case. Note; this does not include the local police who have been very approachable, considerate and reasonable in our dealings with them.

The members of Let’s Go Cruisin are stunned by the aggressive and intimidating presence by TMU and VicRoads officers into what was a great family affair bringing enjoyment to hundreds of children and their parents in the spirit of Christmas.

The fact that we were raising much needed funds to support feeding breakfast to disadvantaged school children in our community while our government spent its funds mounting this operation is appalling to us.

We are preparing a formal complaint to the authorities concerned and the new government in the strongest terms.

Our members were so busy managing the many aspects of Santa Cruz that we had very little direct contact with the TMU and VicRoads officers on the night.

If you were an entrant and had contact with the TMU officers as you entered or exited the Lifestyle Centre, and would like to see Let’s Go Cruisin’ continue to host our cruise nights in Mornington [yes, it is that serious] we would appreciate greatly details of your experience to support the drafting our complaint. Please email or write to us at cruisinletsgo@hotmail.co or PO Box 289 Mt Martha 3934

Please provide us with a brief account of your observations or direct experience and how you felt about the police operation. We need your help in piecing together a picture of what happened while we were all occupied hosting Santa Cruz.

We need your help.

Alan Newton - President Let’s Go Cruisin’

I rarely provide my mobile # on the web but this issue is so serious, here it is 0417 389 114.


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