Dozens Arrested in Youth Gang Crackdown: Over 100 Offences Found

Police arrested 15 people linked to street gangs last week as part of an operation which saw nearly 70 people arrested in total and over 100 offences identified.

As part of Operation Alliance, police from multiple regions and specialist areas joined forces last week to disrupt gang activity, arrest violent offenders and engage with those on the fringes of youth gangs at the earliest opportunity to divert them away from joining a gang and offending.

The western suburbs, northern suburbs, south-east and inner eastern suburbs of Melbourne were all saturated with a highly visible police presence, including Croydon, Dandenong, Melton, Point Cook, Springvale, Truganina and Werribee.

Police arrested 67 people over the course of the operation, which ran from 5 – 9 March. This included 15 with links to street gangs, with the majority aged between 15 and 17-years-old.

A key component 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.

126 bail compliance checks were performed over the five nights, with nearly 75% of people found to be complying with their conditions.

The full results from the four nights of police activity were as follows:

• 67 people arrested, including 15 linked to street gangs for over 100 offences including aggravated burglary, robbery, car theft, assault, and drug related offending.

• 12 people remanded in custody

• 126 bail compliance checks, with police identifying 33 breaches of bail.

• Engaged with nearly 400 persons of interest, including 77 with gang associations in the community which has led to greater intelligence holdings to assist future investigations and the ability to disrupt and deter offending.

• Cleared 29 outstanding warrants

• 31 Firearm Prohibition Order searches

• Highway Patrol Units checked over 7,700 cars through Automatic Numberplate Recognition Technology in an effort to detect stolen cars or numberplates.

• 147 vehicles intercepted by police, which led to six cars being impounded and taken off the roads.

Notable incidents include:

• The Brimbank and Melton Offender Management team executed a Firearm Prohibition Order search at a property in Cobblebank on 8 March. As a result of the search police located an imitation firearm and a quantity of cannabis. A 20-year-old man, who is subject to an active FPO and allegedly linked to street gangs, was arrested. The man was released and is expected to be charged on summons in relation to prohibited person possessing an imitation firearm.

• Five youth offenders with alleged links to street gangs were arrested by the Westgate Alliance Taskforce in relation to multiple car thefts across the Wyndham area over recent weeks. This includes a 16-year-old Tarneit boy, 17-year-old Tarneit boy and three 15-year-old Truganina boys. Three were remanded in custody, one was bailed and one was released and is expected to be charged on summons. They are all expected to face a children’s court at a later date.

A number of other offences were detected as a result of the strong police presence, which includes:

• A car was intercepted by police working as part of Operation Alliance in the Croydon area overnight on 9 March. A subsequent search of the vehicle allegedly located 1,4-Butanediol, cannabis and stolen identification documents. A 26-year-old man from Croydon South and a 27-year-old woman from Croydon were both arrested. The man was charged with possessing cannabis and was bailed to appear at court at a later date. The woman was charged with possessing 1,4-Butanediol and handling stolen goods. She was remanded to appear at court at a later date.

Operation Alliance has led to significant results on a state-wide level, with 453 known youth gang members arrested a combined total of 1,440 times in the last year.

This has led to over 3,200 charges being laid and 173 offenders being remanded.

Anyone with information about criminal activity is urged to report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via Link

Quotes attributable to Brimbank & Melton Divisional Commander Superintendent Michael Cruse:

“Operation Alliance brings together multiple policing regions while utilising our specialist areas such as the VIPER Taskforce and Gang Crime Squad, all with the commons focus on dismantling youth gangs and disrupting their offending.”

“Dozens of offenders involved in serious and violent offending have been arrested as a result, and we’ve also engaged with a significant number of people, further boosting our intelligence holdings and giving us a chance to deter people from getting involved in gang activity before it’s too late.”

“These types of operations give us a greater line of sight than ever before on those who associate themselves as part of a youth gang, meaning we have the best chance to prevent crime from occurring.”

“To those involved in serious and violent offending – our message to you is that we will not stop. Police are out every day and night of the week patrolling the streets, monitoring and responding to intelligence and proactively engaging with those involved in gangs.”

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