More on that van near The Lodge, this time from The Canberra Times with the Australian Federal Police admitting they knew about the vehicle for
two days before it became the centre of a full-scale security alert.

According to the CT, AFP officers first inspected the van on
Thursday night. It was left at the scene because officers considered it to be
an abandoned vehicle:

“By Saturday afternoon – two days after police were first notified
of the van’s presence – the white Mitsubishi Starwagon was judged to be a
potential bomb threat, sparking a five-hour security lockdown around the Prime
Minister’s Canberra residence.

“Streets were cordoned off and traffic diverted for five hours
while two robots were used to break into the van.

“The robots removed a number of objects, including pillows and
glass before streets were reopened about 8pm.”

According to The Canberra Times, the van was “left on State Circle
beneath the Adelaide Avenue overpass, about 300m from the Lodge, sometime last
week.”

It quotes a spokesplod for the Federal Flatfoots as saying “initial
examination of the van late on Thursday night deemed it to be a broken-down
vehicle, with all subsequent enquiries supporting this. Whilst investigations
to date all support the premise that the vehicle was broken down and abandoned,
police enquiries are continuing as a matter of course.”

So why all the weekend excitement? Is the rest of our security so
good?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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