Victoria Police’s intense focus on dismantling the state’s worst street gangs saw dozens of people linked to youth gangs arrested across north-west Melbourne over the weekend and more than 50 at risk young people, such as siblings or associates of serious offenders, connected to support services to divert them from a life of crime.
As part of Operation Alliance, police from Brimbank, Wyndham and Melbourne joined forces over four nights across the weekend to disrupt gang activity, arrest violent offenders, and engage with those on the fringes of youth gangs at the earliest opportunity to minimise their chances of joining a gang and offending.
Police arrested 54 people over the course of the operation, which concluded in the early hours of Tuesday morning. This included 24 people aged 25 and under with links to street gangs, while a further 30 adults with links to street gangs or serious and violent crime were also arrested.
A key pillar of Operation Alliance sees police regularly knocking on the doors of Victoria’s most serious and violent youth gang members to ensure they are complying with their bail conditions.
Over 100 bail compliance checks were performed over the four nights of the operation, with nearly 60% of people found to be complying with their conditions, which local police say is an improvement and shows the strategy is leading to positive behavioural changes.
Acting Superintendent Shane Brundell said,“Operation Alliance is an ongoing operation that sees teams of officers, detectives and specialist units patrolling our streets, monitoring intelligence and proactively engaging with offenders and persons with one goal in mind – to disrupt and dismantle youth gangs before they can cause significant harm to the community.”
The full results from the four nights of police activity were as follows:
• 54 people arrested for offences including robbery, evade police, burglary, car theft, unlicenced driving and possessing prohibited weapons
• 106 bail compliance checks, with police identifying 45 breaches of bail.
• 53 referrals to support agencies to those identified at risk of being influenced into crime, such as younger siblings or associates of persons of interest.
• A further 5 referrals to low level offenders to support agencies including drug and alcohol support, employment, and youth agencies.
• Engaged with over 300 persons of interest in the community which has led to greater intelligence holdings to assist future investigations and the ability to disrupt and deter offending.
• Cleared 46 outstanding warrants.
• 6 Firearm Prohibition Order searches.
• Highway Patrol Units checked over 3,550 cars through Automatic Numberplate Recognition Technology in an effort to detect stolen cars or numberplates.
• 300 vehicles intercepted by police, which led to 4 cars being impounded and taken off the roads.
Notable incidents from the four nights include:
• On Friday, police became aware of a planned fight in the Brimbank area between youths. Officers saturated the planned fight location and surrounding local roads, public transport hubs, and parks in the area to prevent this from occurring. Police are not aware of any affrays, fights, or assaults in the area on the night, with the operation circumventing a potentially serious incident.
• On Sunday night at about 11.10pm, Wyndham detectives spotted an erratic silver Holden Commodore along Point Cook Road that drove through a red light and was driving without headlights on. The vehicle was involved in a collision in Carrick Street Point Cook where the occupants fled. A 17-year-old female was arrested at the scene and enquiries are ongoing into other occupants of the vehicle.
• On Monday just after 12.00am, the Brimbank Offender Management Team intercepted a vehicle at a car park in Brookfield. One of the occupants fled on foot while three males were arrested inside the vehicle, including the driver. A search of the vehicle uncovered a taser, two large hunting knives and a small amount of what is believed to be cannabis. A 19-year-old from Kurunjang was charged with possessing prohibited weapon, possessing controlled weapon, and possessing drug of dependence. He was bailed to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 1 December.
• As part of the overall efforts, an Omni Operation was conducted around the Sunshine Railway Station on Friday evening after police declared the area a designated area for weapons searches. These operations are run in areas where offending involving weapons, including knives, has previously occurred and serve as a strong deterrent for would be offenders who think they can carry a weapon and threaten the safety of our community. Results from the omni indicate:
o 15 people arrested, including 2 for weapons and 6 for possessing drug of dependence
o 2 knives seized by police
o 48 vehicles checked and 12 vehicles intercepted
o 12 positive breath tests
The operation was a collaborative approach by the Brimbank Offender Management Team, Wyndham Crime Investigation Unit, Melbourne Divisional Response Unit, North West Metro Regional Crime Squad, Gang Crime Squad and Transit Safety Division.