Echuca police praise crowd at 2018 Southern 80

Police and Parks Victoria officers were out in force arcross the weekend for the Southern 80. Picture: Eyewatch - Campaspe Police Service Area/Facebook
Police and Parks Victoria officers were out in force arcross the weekend for the Southern 80. Picture: Eyewatch - Campaspe Police Service Area/Facebook

Echuca police have praised the behaviour of those attending the Southern 80 at the weekend.

The annual ski race along the Murray River drew thousands of competitors and spectators to the area during the three days it was held.

Echuca Inspector Geoff Owen said crowd numbers were up on previous years, but, positively, behaviour was better.

“The crowd behaviour was very good across the weekend,” he said. 

“Overall I’m very pleased. We got thousands of people to and from Echuca safely.”

Police carried out thousands of breath-tests with only three drunk-drivers charged at booze bus sites; and three people arrested for drunkenness.

The weekend wasn’t without incident, with two police operational response vehicles damaged and two vehicle fires.

The first police car had one of its tyres slashed on Saturday night near the High Street McDonald's; and the second had a tyre let down along the banks of the Murray.

The culprit, a camper, was caught in the act and will be summonsed to court for tampering with a motor vehicle.

Inspector Owen said it was lucky the two incidents were at the lower end of offending, but disabling a police vehicle impacted their ability to respond to emergencies.

The first of the two car fires happened on Sunday morning when a Holden Rodeo utility was set alight in Ogilvie Avenue, destroying the vehicle.

The second involved an unregistered vehicle that was left running at an abandoned campsite also on Sunday morning. The vehicle sparked a small fire, which CFA members put out.

Unrelated to the Southern 80, a 4.9-metre Marina boat was also stolen from Echuca at the weekend.

The orange-coloured boat (registration sticker FS156) has a distinctive custom made hydro foil above the propeller and was stolen from a Leichardt Street home between 9.30pm on Saturday and 9am on Sunday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Constable Nick Robinson at the Echuca police station on 5483 1500 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.