A leading Ballarat police officer has fired a warning shot to criminals in the city that police are cracking down harder than ever.
After 25 people were charged in the Ballarat region as part of a combined police operation, Ballarat Police Inspector Greg Payne hopes potential criminals think twice before offending.
The multi-division unit operation that has swooped on more than 50 properties in the region since Christmas has targeted a range of crimes but has focused on high-volume incidents like the alleged torching of stolen cars.
Inspector Payne told The Courier on Thursday afternoon offenders should expect to be arrested after if they decide to break the law as the police's approach will not change going forward.
"From our perspective we want to show offenders and people even contemplating getting involved with this activity," he said.
"We will be seeking to arrest you, charge you and prosecute you to the full extent of the law.
"We're not going to go away, we're so focused on this and on community safety. It will be our focus for the foreseeable future."
Inspector Payne said helping the community to feel safer and more comfortable moving forward was the number one priority for police.
Keeping the community feeling confident and safe is why this became such a priority for us.Ballarat Police Inspector Greg Payne
"We've been working hard on it for a while now and it's a case of putting in the work to be able to bring the offenders before the courts.
"It's the result of hard work from the CIU and DRU along with assistance from SOCIT, the family violence unit and uniformed personnel...There is a whole division approach to what we are doing."
He went on to thank the community for their assistance in providing information that helped lead to the 25 charges.
"The community has been fantastic in assisting police with their investigations... we've made a point to follow up leads that come from the community as they can often be our greatest asset."
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