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Statewide police operation foils knife-related crime

Tuesday, 21 June 2022 04:51:18 AM

Police have seized more than 110 knives, 21 firearms and charged 232 people as part of a statewide crackdown on knife-related crime.

Operation Foil II took place from Tuesday 14 June 2022 to Saturday 18 June 2022 to reduce the number of young people carrying knives in public, and prevent violent incidents that cause significant harm.

The statewide operation involved a two-stage approach that included highly-visible police patrols in high-risk locations, as well as Youth Command Officers visiting high schools to warn them about the risks of carrying weapons.

The operation follows an increase in the number of young people becoming both perpetrators and victims of knife-related offences in in the past five years.

Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the force was committed to reducing violent incidents involving knives which most often involved robberies and assaults.

“Our intelligence shows that some young people are increasingly carrying sharp instruments for self-defence, but they don’t fully understand the potentially fatal consequences that this can have,” Commissioner Webb said.

“When someone has a dangerous weapon in their possession, there is a much greater likelihood of a small-scale incident escalating into a fatal one.

“We’re trying to urge young people to think about the potential consequences of their actions, as one wrong decision can dramatically change your life.”

Throughout the operation, police effected the following statewide results:

• Seized 112 knives and 26 prohibited weapons

• Charged 232 people

• Seized 21 firearms

• Laid 546 charges

• Conducted more than 1200 bail compliance checks

• Issued 400 Traffic Infringement Notices

• Seized a range of prohibited and prescription substances

• Seized cash and other items alleged to be proceeds of crime

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole said police had a zero-tolerance approach to knife-related crime.

“Carrying a knife, and even worse, using it to harm someone else will see you arrested, put before the courts, and potentially locked up for a very long time,” Mr Toole said.

“Knife crime can forever change lives in an instant, and police will continue to proactively target and arrest anyone who poses a threat to the safety of the community.

“Operation Foil, along with other similar operations, will continue to be conducted across New South Wales to prevent and disrupt criminal behaviour, and to protect our community,” he said.

Some incidents of note include

• On Thursday (16 June 2022), a 45-year-old man was arrested in Reddestone and charged with multiple firearms and weapons offences after police located more than 1000 unregistered and illegal items in a shipping container at a private residence. Items included unregistered firearms, shortened firearms, firearm parts, ammunition and approximately 12kg of gunpowder, two hand grenades, two belt-fed 30-calibre machine guns, two SLR rifles and pistols. He was refused bail and appeared before Armidale Local Court on Friday (17 June 2022).

• A 33-year-old man was arrested and charged following an assault in Kempsey last Thursday. During a subsequent search, police seized four knives. The man was charged with common assault, and custody of a knife in a public place. He is due to appear before Kempsey Local Court on Monday 27 June 2022.

• In Glebe, a 50-year-old man was also arrested and charged last Thursday after he was found by police to allegedly be in breach of his bail conditions. During a subsequent search, police located and seized six knives. He was charged with custody of a knife in a public place and appeared before Newtown Local Court last Friday.

• Last Friday, police stopped a vehicle on Chiswick Road in Auburn about 4.45pm and spoke to the 23-year-old driver. Following a search of the vehicle, officers located 2.5kg of illicit tobacco and a large knife. The man was charged with goods in personal custody suspected being stolen, custody of knife in public place, convey tobacco products know of intent defraud revenue, and use light vehicle not comply with tyres standard. He was granted conditional bail and is due to appear before Burwood Local Court on Thursday 7 July 2022.

• Police conducting proactive patrols in Lightning Ridge last Friday stopped and spoke to a 25-year-old man in Rotary Park. Subsequent checks revealed the man was wanted on an arrest warrant. He was arrested and his vehicle was searched, where police seized two homemade pistols, two replica pistols, homemade ammunition, equipment used in the manufacture of firearms – including a 3D-printer – and other electronic devices. He was charged with firearms offences and was refused bail and appeared before Dubbo Local Court last Saturday (18 June 2022).

In March this year, police across the state took part in the same operation which resulted in 85 knives, eight firearms and 420 charges being laid.