By Gabriella Payne
Sixteen people were arrested and charged for multiple offences over three days last week, as police seized weapons, drugs and cash during a south eastern operation which targeted public transport hubs in Cardinia, Casey and Greater Dandenong.
The OMNI operation, which ran between Thursday 7 January and Saturday 9 January, saw police check more than 160 people and 20 different vehicles in a bid to target crime in the area – and was an overall success, with many dangerous weapons found and taken off the streets in the process.
A handgun, knuckle duster, knives, extendable baton and a taser were all among the items seized by police during the operation, as well as a quantity of drugs and cash.
The sixteen people arrested were charged with offences including firearm possession, assault, theft, drug and other weapon-related offences and five drug cautions were also issued.
A 31-year-old Dandenong woman was among those arrested, for six outstanding warrants for past offences, including burglary, theft and recklessly causing injury.
Acting Inspector Graeme Stanley said that the operation had been an overall success and had helped to improve public safety in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs.
“Local and transit police worked together as part of the OMNI operation in an effort to identify those carrying illegal weapons and get them off the streets before they could cause any harm in our community,” Inspector Stanley said.
“Police simply will not tolerate those who break the law or engage in antisocial or violent behaviour that puts the safety of others at risk.”
OMNI operations are specially designed, giving police “additional powers to detect weapon offences within a designated search area”, aimed at enhancing public safety and curbing crime simultaneously.
Inspector Stanley said that Victoria police would continue to monitor public transport hubs in the area as well as other busy locations, ensuring a high level of community safety at all times.
“We will continue to have a highly visible presence in the community and patrol high risk locations to prevent crime and hold offenders to account,” he said.