Victoria Police-led Operation Capesso is recognised for its efforts in reducing crime among Melbourne’s most serious violent offenders

Australian Institute of Criminology

Operation Capesso today received a gold award in the police-led category of the 2023 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPAs).

The ACVPAs recognise best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia and play a vital role in highlighting effective community-based initiatives to prevent crime and violence before it occurs.

Operation Capesso has developed a focused deterrence program and identified 1,000 violent offenders with a high risk of future offending. Detectives and youth specialist officers across 13 units conducted unannounced home visits and spoke with the individuals and, when possible, their families.

During the home visits, the engagement team offered the individuals a candid assessment of their risk of future offending and likelihood of apprehension. Officers also provided a letter offering referral services across 12 pathways. The letters and visits were designed to encourage the individuals to adopt a law-abiding pathway using supportive and non-confrontational language.

“Our proactive police prevention approach, rather than a reactive post offending response, has been seen to be greatly effective in reducing reoffending, violence and victim harm. This is a model that can be replicated by police agencies across Australia,” said Detective Superintendent David Cowan.

“This award today acknowledges Operation Capesso’s dedication to reducing recidivism in Australian communities which has seen serious offenders more receptive to law enforcement in a neutral setting,” said Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Deputy Director Dr Rick Brown.

These annual awards recognise the outstanding contributions being made across Australia for crime prevention, including the development and implementation of practical projects to reduce violence and other types of crime in the community.

The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments and are delivered by the AIC. All projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service, and is chaired by the AIC Director.


/Public Release.