5/11/2007Australia: Home Raided, Car Seized Based on Phone Tip
A West Australian city makes its first automobile seizure based solely on evidence from someone who called in to complain.
Police in Kambalda, Western Australia made their first automobile seizure based solely on evidence provided by a caller to a hotline. Police raided the home of an 18-year-old at 3pm after receiving a phone-in tip from someone claiming to have seen the teenager's Holden Commodore driving carelessly.
That was enough for police to take away the Holden and arrest the 18-year-old for reckless driving, driving without a license and driving an unregistered vehicle. Kambalda Magistrate's Court will hear the case on Tuesday.
Several West Australian cities have enacted what are called "Dob a Hoon" laws that allow anyone to order a car seizure by calling a hotline to give the license plate number of a neighbor or enemy. Legislation authorizing such ordinances went into effect on April 30. Cars can be seized for 48 hours, or permanently if so ordered by a judge.
"To make it tougher for hoons to get back on the road, they now have to pay the impound fees before the vehicle is released," Community Safety Minister John Kobelke explained. The program is expected to make thousands in additional revenue.