Monday, May 20, 2024

50 arrested in Victoria Police youth gang blitz

Police in Melbourne’s west have arrested 50 people as part of a blitz targeting youth gang members and other repeat young offenders ahead of the school holidays.

Officers conducted arrest warrants, firearm prohibition order checks and bail compliance checks to put known offenders in the area on notice as part of Operation Alliance.

As a result, officers from the Westgate Alliance Taskforce and the Brimbank Offender Management Team arrested 20 children aged 10 – 17 and 15 youth aged 18 – 24 between 27 and 30 March.

Fifteen older offenders were also arrested due to the significant police presence which included members from the Alliance Taskforce, Westgate Proactive Policing Unit, the Wyndham, Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong Crime Investigation Units, Westgate Highway Patrol, Brimbank Highway Patrol, Air Wing, Public Order Response Team and Transit Division.

“We know the school holiday period generally creates greater opportunities for youth gangs to offend, with more potential young victims around busy locations such as shopping centres, parks, and transport hubs,” said Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Ryan Balzer.

“We are determined to disrupt anyone attempting to commit serious and violent crime, which is exactly what occurred in the western suburbs last week.

“Victoria Police’s relentless pursuit of our state’s worst youth gangs is having an impact.”

He said Operation Alliance continues to hold Victoria’s most serious and violent youth offenders accountable.

Over the past year, Alliance has led to 387 known youth gang members being arrested a combined total of 1,432 times. These offenders were charged with 3,286 offences.

A core group of 249 youth gang members who were arrested more than three times over the past year, including 59 arrested more than 10 times, present a specific challenge for police.

“As of today, 620 youth gang members across 43 youth gangs currently being actively monitored by Victoria Police,” said A/Det Snr Sgt Balzer.

“Due to a mixture of sustained enforcement and connecting young people to support services, this has reduced by 127 youth gang members since Operation Alliance was established in September 2020.”

The four-day blitz across Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Wyndham and Brimbank resulted in:

  • 50 arrests;
  • Four offenders were remanded, 15 were released with intent to summons, four were released pending enquiries, and 27 were bailed;
  • 142 vehicles checked and four vehicles impounded;
  • 38 penalty notices issued.

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