Police to use drones to catch swimmers and bush bashers trying to sneak across border

By Daneka Hill

NSW Police will use drones and planes to catch people trying to sneak through remote bushland to avoid border check points.

Police confirmed they have identified at least 20 locations along the recently closed NSW-Victorian border which they plan to monitor from the sky.

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said there would be aerial surveillance devices deployed “24/7” to monitor the locations.

“Now clearly it is a very long border, and someone could choose to swim across the river and walk through the bush, there are dirt tracks,” he said.

“We have individual officers trained to operate drones who will be set up in certain areas.”

Comm Fuller said NSW Police expect only a “small percentage” of people will try to enter NSW via the bush tracks.

“It is not useful to put police and army officers on dirt roads to catch one or two cars trying to get through,” Comm Fuller said.

NSW Police Minister David Elliot said more than 300 Australian Defence Force Troops would be joining 600 police officers to secure the border.

“People shouldn’t assume it is all going to be focused on Albury-Wodonga,” he said.

“If you want to do the wrong thing you will be caught.”

People caught trying to cross the border illegally could face an $11,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

But NSW Police are appealing for tougher penalties and greater on-the-spot fine abilities.