Twelve arrested during Operation Summer Safe blitz at Wollongong

Twelve people have been arrested as part of a two-day operation targeting anti-social behaviour and driving offences in the Wollongong area at the weekend.

As part of Operation Summer Safe, between Friday 28 and Saturday 29 November 2020, officers from the Southern Region Enforcement Squad (RES) coordinated a high visibility operation throughout the Wollongong CBD and surrounding suburbs.

RES officers were assisted by specialist licensing police from Wollongong Police District and officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.

Of note across the two days;

• Twelve people were arrested for a range of offences, including police pursuit, dangerous driving, drink driving, drug driving and outstanding warrants.

• More than 150 random breath tests and 28 random drug tests were conducted, with five charges laid for drink driving and two charges laid for drug driving.

• Twenty-one infringements were issues for offences including speeding, defects and other traffic-related incidents.

• Nine people were charged with possessing prohibited drugs, seven people were charged by virtue of outstanding arrest warrants and three people were charged with breaching bail conditions.

• Thirty licensed premises were inspected, with no breaches of health orders detected.

About 12.20am on Saturday 28 November 2020, police attempted to stop a white Ford Focus on Gray Street, Woonona, for a random breath test.

When the driver failed to stop, a pursuit was initiated, before being terminated a short time later for safety reasons.

A short time later, the Ford Focus was located in bushland at the end of Blackall Street Bulli, where it came to rest against a number of trees.

The 22-year-old male driver was arrested a short distance away and taken to Wollongong Police Station, where he allegedly returned a positive breath result of 0.127. He was charged with police pursuit, speeding (more than 45km/h), dangerous driving, and mid-range drink driving.

The Bulli man was granted bail to appear in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday 12 January 2021.

Southern Region Operations Manager, Detective Superintendent Kevin McNeil, said police will continue to be out in force, targeting anti-social behaviour in and around licensed premises.

“We had a high-visibility police presence throughout the Wollongong CBD across Friday and Saturday nights, and we are pleased to report no major incidents during that time,” Det Supt McNeil said.

“We made it clear from the start of this operation that we will have additional police tasked to patrol our public spaces, licensed premises and hospitality venues.

“We want the public to enjoy the upcoming summer months, but to do so in a COVID-safe manner.

“Although police were required to move a number of people on, overall we were pleased with how well members of the public and licensed premises were complying with current health orders.

“We will continue to work closely with our local councils, Surf Life Saving and other partner agencies to ensure that our beaches, waterways, national parks, outdoor spaces and licensed venues, can be enjoyed safely in line with health requirements,” Det Supt McNeil said.

Road safety will continue be a focus of Operation Summer Safe, with Traffic and Highway Patrol officers to assist police districts with targeting speeding, drink and drug driving, driving while fatigued, mobile phone and other traffic offences.

Operation Summer Safe is a high-visibility operation which will be in place for the duration of summer 2020/2021 throughout regional NSW.

Operation Summer Safe will focus on policing licensed premises, public spaces and entertainment precincts in an effort to decrease anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related violence, whilst also ensuring adherence to current Public Health Orders.

Operation Summer Safe will be continually running from now until the end of summer in February 2021.

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