THE LATEST multi-unit policing operation has resulted in five more high impact offenders being taken off the city's streets.
From last Friday until Monday night Ballarat police conducted 'Operation Wings', a proactive operation targeting vehicle crime and stolen cars.
The operation involved collaboration between the Criminal Investigation Unit, Divisional Response Unit, Family Violence Unit, Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Unit (SOCIT), uniformed police and the Highway Patrol.
Additional resources - the air wing and canine unit - also travelled to the region to assist, with the police helicopter circling the city on both Sunday and Monday nights in order to provide an aerial platform for police to track high risk drivers who attempted to evade them.
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Inspector Greg Payne told The Courier that the operation had been a great success, with five people arrested and charged not only in relation to traffic offences but also criminal offences such as conduct endangering life, theft and dangerous driving while being pursued by police.
"They were four busy days but we got really good results so we're very pleased," he said.
Throughout 'Operation Wings', police apprehended four drivers for failing to stop as directed. Their vehicles were subsequently seized, with the drivers found to be wanted by police for criminal offences including theft of a motor vehicle. Three of these people have since been remanded in custody.
Police also checked 54 different addresses throughout the operation, conducted 378 vehicle checks, detected nine traffic offences, issued one drug caution, three penalty notices for traffic breaches, impounded two cars and recovered a stolen car.
Since December last year, Ballarat police have arrested 65 high impact offenders who have been causing the most harm to the community, whether by committing aggravated burglaries, stealing vehicles, arson of vehicles or dangerous driving.
Inspector Payne said these arrests were already benefiting the community, evident in the steep reduction in the arson of vehicles in recent weeks.
"We've made a concerted effort because community safety is our top priority, so we have run a number of operations and the results are speaking for themselves," he said.
"Everybody in our teams have done a fantastic job. They've given 110 per cent and have achieved these results for us."
Inspector Payne said police would continue to target people who are causing the community the most harm and would focus on ways to apprehend them in the safest way possible.
One way to do this is by using the air wing, which throughout the operation gave police eyes in the air, meaning police on the ground could plan ahead by putting stop sticks in place where needed so no other road users were put in harm's way during the arrests.
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