Police will be saturating the St Kilda area over the next couple of months to detect and deter drug offending and volume crime in the local community.
Operation Spartan commences on 1 November and will see local police working closely with investigators from the Crime Investigation Unit, Divisional Response Unit, Bike Patrol, Proactive Policing Unit and Youth Resource Officers to provide a highly visible police presence throughout St Kilda.
Senior Sergeant Angela Hantsis said Operation Spartan will have a strong focus on community safety, with police wanting residents and visitors in St Kilda to not only be safe but feel safe.
“We know that members of the community have shared their concerns about issues such as drug trafficking, drug use, anti-social behaviour and thefts which is why we’ve developed Operation Spartan,” S/Sgt Hantsis said.
“A priority for police will be tackling drug crime as we know this is a driver of other volume crime categories such as property crime, theft, burglaries and robberies and is often linked to funding dependence on drugs.
“Operation Spartan will run in St Kilda for six to eight weeks where we will undertake a number of highly visible and targeted activities in the community in an effort to deter and detect any offending. This operation will run in addition to the daily foot patrols already performed by our general duties officers in the area.
“While Operation Spartan will be ongoing during this time, we’ll have days where we will have an intensive focus on issues such as offending at public transport hubs, retail theft and drug offending.
“These areas of focus will be intelligence-led and will occur at peak times when we know offending is most likely to occur.
“We’ll also be blitzing the area by identifying any persons of interest and executing warrants of apprehension and search warrants.
“Police are committed to holding offenders to account to ensure they don’t have an impact on the community’s ability to enjoy everything St Kilda has to offer.
“We’ll also be spending time going out to speak to local businesses and traders to get a better understanding of what they’re seeing in the community and encouraging them to report any incident to police, no matter how small it may seem.
“The more intelligence we receive from the community, the better opportunities police have to gather an accurate picture of what is happening to respond quickly and accordingly.
“Police will also be running a number of community engagement days where they will set up in areas including the foreshore to provide opportunities for bicycle engraving and handing out one-way screws.
“This is a great opportunity to engage with your local police face-to-face and we encourage everyone to come out and have a chat.
“Operation Spartan aims to provide a comprehensive approach to tackling crime, holding offenders to account, engaging with the diverse St Kilda community and providing them with the support they need.
“It will also complement the already existing Operation Summersafe to ensure that everyone in St Kilda is able to have a safe and enjoyable summer as restrictions start to ease,” S/Sgt Hantsis concluded.