Detectives have arrested five people and seized a firearm, weapons, and drugs as part of a targeted operation across the Geelong area over the past fortnight.
Operation Shield concluded yesterday and involved a range of local policing resources including the Geelong FPO team, as well as members from the Public Order Response Team, Illicit Firearms Squad, and Echo Taskforce, serving new FPOs and carrying out FPO compliance checks across Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast and Colac Otways region.
During the course of the operation, police executed 36 warrants, conducting 30 Firearm Prohibition Order (FPOs) compliance searches on individuals currently banned from possessing a firearm and serving six new FPOs to individuals police deem a serious public safety risk if they were to possess a firearm.
Five people were arrested as part of Operation Shield, including:
• Two Corio men were charged following a warrant at a Remington Street address on 19 July, with a sawn-off longarm with silencer, ammunition and homemade explosive materials seized. Officers from the Bomb Response Unit attended the scene to assist. A 53-year-old Corio man was charged with possess firearm, possess cartridge ammunition, possess explosive substance, manufacture explosive substance, cultivate narcotic plant, and possess cannabis. A 29-year-old Corio man was also charged with prohibited person possess firearm, prohibited person possess silencer, possess firearm in contravention of a firearm prohibition order, possess cartridge ammunition, possess explosive substance, manufacture explosive substance, cultivate narcotic plant, possess cannabis, and fail to comply with direction to assist. Both men were remanded and will appear at the Geelong Magistrates Court on 26 August 2021.
• A 40-year-old Clifton Spring man was arrested and charged with possess prohibited weapon, theft of motor vehicle, and possess cannabis. He was bailed to appear at Geelong Magistrates Court on 16 November 2021.
• A 32-year-old Leopold female was arrested and charged with possess/traffick a drug of dependence. She was bailed to appear at Geelong Magistrates Court on 22 November 2021.
• A 28-year-old Whittington male was arrested in relation to theft of motor vehicle and dealing property suspected of being proceeds of crime. He was released pending summons.
There are serious potential repercussions associated with breaching an FPO, with a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Anyone with further information around firearm related crime in Geelong is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report to www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
Quotes attributed to Acting Inspector, Investigations and Response Nick Uebergang
“If you think you have the right to illegally possess a firearm, think again. We will come knocking on your door, we will seize any weapons in your possession, and we will charge you.”
“Firearm Prohibition Orders are an extremely powerful enforcement tool, providing police with greater powers than ever before to ensure firearms do not end up or stay in the hands of some of the more dangerous members of our community.”
“We will continue to run regular operations such as this to keep Geelong’s streets safe, avoid firearm related tragedies, and put those endangering the community before the courts.”