Operation Alliance keeps youth offenders on notice

Youth gangs remain an area of focus for Victoria Police, with more than 30 youth gang members arrested across metropolitan Melbourne over the weekend.

As part of Operation Alliance, police from across Melbourne’s CBD, Maribyrnong, Wyndham, Brimbank, Melton, Darebin, Dandenong, and Knox joined forces between Thursday 24 and Sunday 27 November.

A range of specialist units including Gang Crime Squad, VIPER Taskforce, Airwing, Highway Patrol, and Transit also supported the concentrated focus on youth gangs.

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

• Engaged with 112 youth gang members, connected to 14 separate street gangs, leading to greater intelligence holdings to assist future investigations and the ability to disrupt and deter offending.

• 53 people arrested for offences including aggravated burglary, robbery, and car theft. Included 31 people aged between 14 and 25-years-old with links to street gangs.

• 12 offenders remanded, including seven known youth gang members.

• 78 bail compliance checks of people with known youth gang affiliations – 50 people were found to be complying with their bail conditions, while there were 28 breaches of bail detected.

• Cleared 22 outstanding warrants.

• One Firearm Prohibition Order search.

• Highway Patrol Units checked over 6365 cars through Automatic Numberplate Recognition Technology in an effort to detect stolen cars or numberplates.

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

Notable incidents from the four nights include:

• In the early hours of Wednesday 23 November, a white Honda Accord was allegedly stolen from an Ivanhoe East address. The offenders opened an unlocked house door, before allegedly stealing the keys. The victim was awoken by her dog barking, before allegedly confronting three offenders outside the front of her property. One of the offenders allegedly produced a large knife, threatening the victim before she re-entered the house and observed her vehicle being driven away. On Friday 25 November, members from Gang Crime Squad and VIPER, identified four people in the stolen Honda in Sunshine West during Operation Alliance. The vehicle was followed to Balmoral Court, Melton West, where two occupants of the vehicle allegedly left the vehicle to steal number plates from another car. These two offenders – a 16-year-old from Harkness and a 15-year-old from Taylor’s Hill were arrested at the scene and subsequently charged with theft of and theft from motor vehicle. Both have been bailed to appear at a children’s court at a later date. The stolen vehicle left the area, before being tracked to a Harkness address, where four additional offenders allegedly dumped the vehicle before being arrested a short distance away. All offenders were allegedly located with balaclavas, gloves, and knives. This included two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old, all from Kurunjang and a 16-year-old from Brookfield. Three of these youths have been remanded to appear at a children’s court at a later date, while the fourth has been bailed to appear at children’s court at a later date.

• Investigators from Croydon Divisional Response Unit arrested four youths with known gang affiliations in connection to a series of offences between late August and mid-September. This included a robbery on Great Ryrie Road, Ringwood on 16 September, an armed robbery on Warrandyte Road, Ringwood on 14 September, and an affray at Knox Shopping Centre on 31 August. As part of Operation Alliance, police arrested a 16-year-old from Hoppers Crossing, a 16-year-old from Werribee, and a 17-year-old from Werribee on Thursday 24 November. Another 16-year-old from Werribee was arrested on Friday 25 November. For these series of offences, investigators have executed a total 11 search warrants and arrested 10 offenders.

In the twelve months to the end of August 2022, Victoria Police arrested 452 known youth gang members a combined 1,334 times as part of Operation Alliance. Those arrested were hit with 3,201 criminal charges.

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

Quotes attributable to Acting Assistant Commissioner Mark Galliott

“This was a collaborative effort involving multiple policing regions, Crime Command and specialist units all focused on dismantling youth gangs and disrupting their offending.”

“We will maintain a concentrated and combined focus on those who seek to commit violent crimes and jeopardise the safety of the rest of the community.

“However, we know arrests and court hearings are only one strategy to reduce youth crime and that police also play a role in breaking the cycle of reoffending and diverting these people away from a life of crime.

“In a pleasing sign, we continue to see increased compliance with bail conditions from those connected to youth gangs, which is a positive behavioural change.

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