Devonport car explosion had enough force to injure

Sunday, 22. July 2018

AN EXPLOSION that rocked the quiet streets of Devonport on Saturday night had enough force to injure anyone in its vicinity according to Western District Police Commander Locky Avery.

The explosion in Steele Street was caused by an unknown explosive device attached to the personal vehicle of a Devonport policeman.

The senior sergeant, who has worked in Devonport CIB, and his young family were at home at the time of the blast.

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The explosion caused the vehicle to catch on fire and blew out a portion of the windscreen.

Commander Avery said forensic tests indicated the explosive device was placed on the outside of the vehicle near the windscreen and detonated, which caused the windscreen to blow out.

He said it was too early yet to tell what kind of explosive device was used in the attack, which is the second incident in a month on the 2001 silver Nissan Patrol.

An unknown flammable liquid was poured onto the car and set alight on November 19.

It was extinguished by the senior sergeant at the centre of the attacks before any serious damage could be incurred to the vehicle.

Commander Avery said both instances were being thoroughly investigated by a special taskforce set up specifically to deal with the attacks.

The family at the centre of the attack have been placed under special police protection.

Commander Avery said considerable police security had been placed around the family and the house.

The attack was similar to several fire bomb attacks that occurred in Devonport in 2007,but Commander Avery dismissed notions that the attacks were connected.

“There’s nothing to indicate any great connection [to 2007] but at this stage we are approaching it [the investigation] with an open mind,” Commander Avery said.

Tasmania Police were keeping tight lipped on the identity of the police officer at the centre of the attacks and said they wanted to protect the privacy of him and his family.

“It’s unacceptable that his family would have to deal with this at this time, it’s the worst Christmas present they could receive,” Commander Avery said.

Commander Avery said the senior sergeant was still on duty at work at the Devonport Police Station.

He said preliminary blast and forensic testing had been conducted and was expected to be completed in the coming days.

The car was being held at the Devonport Police Station as it undergoes the forensic tests.

Commander Avery said the special taskforce was pleading with the public to come forward with any information and said anonymous calls to CrimeStoppers would be welcomed.

Forensic officer senior constable Melle Zwerver looks for fingerprints on the vehicle owned by a Devonport police officer. It had a device strapped to the windscreen and detonated on Saturday night. Picture: Jason Hollister.

If you have information about the incident call Tasmania Police on 131 444 or anonymously on CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.

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