Disrupting and preventing crime and anti-social behaviour is the focus of a new specialist police unit based in the Illawarra region.
In January 2019, the NSW Government announced 100 new high-visibility officers to be stationed across the state.
As part of this commitment, the Southern High-Visibility Police (HVP) Unit has been formed to prevent, disrupt and respond to crime through high-visibility patrols of crime hotspots, roads, transport networks, local neighbourhoods and planned events.
The rollout commenced in January 2020, with six officers posted to the Illawarra to service the eight police districts:
– Lake Illawarra
– Murray River
– South Coast
– The Hume
The Southern HVP Unit proactively engages with individuals, groups and communities at risk of crime, in an effort to build intelligence-driven data and target anti-social behaviour.
Southern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar APM said that while the unit is based within the Lake Illawarra area, they are available to be deployed across the region at short notice.
“The Southern HVP Unit has the ability to be deployed wherever the demand is,” Assistant Commissioner Cassar said.
“Earlier this year we deployed the unit to the South Coast as part of the police bushfire response, and more recently they have been tasked with dedicated patrols of the Port Kembla Harbour as part of our COVID-19 response.
“These deployments are on top of the work the unit does in proactively engaging with the community and assisting with strike force activity targeting drug supply. In the past six months the unit has assisted with dismantling drug syndicates in Wagga Wagga, Queanbeyan, Cootamundra, Young and the Illawarra.
“This unit has dramatically improved our ability to respond to emerging crime threats,” Assistant Commissioner Cassar said.
The Southern HVP Unit consists of one sergeant and five constables.