St Kilda Police have made 46 arrests throughout St Kilda as part of Operation Spartan which was established to detect and deter drug offending and volume crime, primarily in Acland Street and Fitzroy Street.
Operation Spartan ran from 1 November to 12 December, with a strong focus on community safety, following members of the community sharing concerns about drug trafficking, drug use, anti-social behaviour and thefts in these areas of St Kilda.
A priority for police was tackling drug crime as it is a driver of other volume crime categories such as property crime, theft, burglaries and robberies and is often linked to funding a dependence on drugs.
Police undertook a number of highly visible and targeted activities in the community in an effort to deter and detect any offending, with the operation taking place in addition to the daily foot patrols already performed by general duties officers in the area.
Throughout the six-week operation, police also heavily concentrated on disrupting offending at public transport hubs, retail theft and drug offending. These areas of focus were intelligence led and occurred at peak times when offending is most likely to occur.
As part of the operation, local police worked 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.
In addition to this, police have also been focusing on other known offenders and persons of interest, executing warrants of apprehension and search warrants.
Of those arrested, seven were remanded in custody while a total of more than 120 charges have been laid in St Kilda over the six week period for offences such as drug trafficking and possession of heroin, methylamphetamine and cannabis, possession of various prescription medications, dealing proceeds of crime, handling stolen goods, possession of weapons including prohibited and controlled, committing indictable offences while on bail, shop theft, theft, burglary and a range of other offences.
As part of the operation, police also seized a combined almost $50,000 worth of drugs and cash.
On 9 November, police members in an unmarked vehicle interrupted a drug deal on Grey Street, St Kilda with one offender fleeing on foot and another allegedly throwing drugs out of a vehicle. A 33-year-old male from St Kilda was charged with trafficking heroin, possession of methylamphetamine, possession of heroin and committing indictable offences while on bail. He has been remanded in custody to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on 11 February 2021. A 46-year-old male from St Kilda was also apprehended and charged with possession of methylamphetamine, possession of heroin, possession of prescription medication, possession of a controlled weapon and handling stolen goods. He was bailed to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 6 April 2021.
On 27 November as part of Operation Spartan, officers executed a search warrant at a residential address in Fitzroy Street, seizing over 30 grams of heroin (approximate street value over $15,000) and around $2,500 cash. A 59-year-old woman from St Kilda was charged with trafficking and possession of heroin and dealing with proceeds of crime. She was bailed to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 21 April 2021.
Operation Spartan complemented the already existing Operation Summersafe, which sees highly visible police patrols in place to detect and deter criminal offending so everyone in St Kilda is able to have a safe and enjoyable summer.
If you need immediate police assistance always call Triple Zero (000). Report any suspicious behaviour to your local police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
As stated by Senior Sergeant Angela Hantsis
“We set out to drive crime down and keep our local community safe, with these results a testament to the comprehensive approach adopted to tackling crime, holding offenders to account, and engaging with the diverse St Kilda community to give them the support they need.”
“Police are committed to holding offenders to account, including those profiting off the misery of others, to ensure they don’t have an impact on the community’s ability to enjoy everything St Kilda has to offer. We want residents and visitors in St Kilda to not only be safe but feel safe.”