Police keep clamps on youth offenders as part of Operation Alliance

Victoria Police has arrested dozens of serious and violent youth offenders across metropolitan Melbourne over the past week, continuing its intense focus on detecting, disrupting and dismantling youth gangs as part of Operation Alliance.

Uniformed and specialist police from the Brimbank Divisional Offender Management Team, Gang Crime Squad, Wyndham Crime Investigation Unit and Transit police recently zeroed in on youth offenders in the north western suburbs by saturating local streets, patrolling known high-volume crime areas, and carrying out bail compliance checks.

The concerted blitz between Friday 25 February and Tuesday 1 March saw 66 people arrested across the north-western suburbs.

Of those arrested, 17 were remanded in custody for serious offences including armed robbery, breach of bail, aggravated burglary, and weapons offences.

During the course of the operation, police also:

• Conducted 112 bail compliance checks, with 55 breaches of bail detected.

• Executed six Firearm Prohibition Order compliance searches

• Checked 1100 vehicles through Automatic Numberplate Recognition Technology.

• Intercepted and physically checked 153 vehicles, with 2 cars being impounded.

• Checked a total of 287 known persons of interest over the course of the operation, including 45 with known youth gang affiliations across Wyndham, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton and Brimbank.

Police also believe the concerted focus led to a significant drop in serious and violent offending across the western suburbs over the weekend, indicating that police were able to disrupt and deter offending.

Among those arrested were:

• Six teenagers with known youth gang affiliations in two stolen vehicles stopped in Melbourne’s west on Tuesday, 1 March. It’s alleged a white Infinity sedan and silver Kia were travelling in convoy in Point Cook about 12.40am. Police deployed stop sticks on Boardwalk Boulevard causing the tyres of the white sedan to deflate. The vehicle allegedly continued to drive at low speed on the deflated tyres and police followed the vehicle to Palladino Way, Tarneit where five teens were arrested. The silver Kia avoided the stop sticks and police followed the vehicle to Greg Norman Drive where the vehicle was allegedly dumped, and four occupants fled. One teen was arrested nearby. Six teenagers aged between 13 and 17 were charged with a range of offences including theft of motor vehicles and committing offences while on bail. One of the boys, a 15-year-old was charged with a range of driving offences including unlicenced driving and driving while directed to stop.

• Seven males connected to youth gangs were also arrested after a brawl at Errington Reserve on Saturday night. It’s alleged on arrival police observed a group of males, who appeared to be affected by alcohol, brawling and behaving in an anti-social manner. Police working as part of Operation Alliance quickly separated the group and obtained names of those in attendance. Seven males between the ages of 14 and 38 were arrested for offences including public drunkenness, outstanding warrants, and outstanding whereabouts.

Detectives from the Southern Metropolitan Crime Team also stopped a number of serious and violent youth offenders in their tracks this week as part of Operation Alliance, arresting five boys connected to a number of recent crimes across Melbourne’s eastern and south eastern suburbs. They were allegedly involved in 15 incidents from 11-27 February including theft of and theft from a motor vehicle, aggravated carjacking, and aggravated burglaries in Carrum Downs, Bentleigh East, Bonbeach, Aspendale, Aspendale Gardens, Cheltenham, Beaumaris, Ashburton, Ashwood, Carrum, Malvern East, and Clayton South. The five youths were arrested after allegedly ramming a police vehicle in a McDonald’s carpark on the corner of Ballarto Road and Frankston-Dandenong Road, Frankston around 11:50pm Monday 28 February. Three boys – two aged 16 and another 17 – were charged with a range of offences including aggravated carjacking, aggravated burglary, unlawful assault, theft of motor vehicle and committing an indictable offence while on bail. The two 16-year-olds have been remanded to appear at a children’s court at a later date, while the 17-year-old remains in hospital awaiting a bedside remand hearing. A 16-year-old boy was also arrested and charged with theft of a motor vehicle and has been bailed to appear before court at a later date, while a 15-year-old boy was released pending further enquiries.

Quotes attributable to Superintendent David Jones, North West Metro Division 3, Brimbank and Melton

“We know operations such as these significantly improve community safety, with significant drops in serious and violent offences committed over the weekend as a result of police taking offenders off the streets and locking them up.”

“Police have a greater line of sight on people associated with youth gangs than ever before. We know who they are, and we know their offending habits – we’ll keep knocking on their doors to ensure they are adhering to bail conditions and we’ll be waiting for them at the locations where we know they seek to commit crimes.”

“We’ll continue to unapologetically prioritise targeting those connected to youth gangs. If you seek to cause harm to the community, we will be doing everything in our power to bring you before the courts.”

“We do know however that we can’t completely arrest our way out of this issue, with prevention and early intervention crucial to reducing young people’s involvement in crime.”

“We’ve strengthened our intelligence holdings this week, giving us opportunities to further engage with young people, their families and networks to break the cycle of reoffending.”

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