18 arrested during proactive Hunter basin operation

Police from four districts in the Northern Region have joined together in a blitz to proactively target crime.

Operation Surge was conducted between 5pm on Friday 18 October and 2am on Saturday 19 October, with more than 130 officers from Newcastle City, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens-Hunter and Hunter Valley Police Districts taking part.

General duties police, with assistance from the Police Dog Unit and PolAir conducted a high-visibility saturation of the Hunter basin – capturing all suburbs of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, into Nelson Bay and Port Stephens, and also the Hunter Valley suburbs of Cessnock and Kurri Kurri.

The aim of the operation was to create an evolving environment with the ability to deploy resources where they’re needed with the aid of real-time intelligence.

Preliminary results from Operation Surge show:

  • 18 people arrested;
  • 31 charges laid;
  • 101 business inspections conducted;
  • 14 drug detections;
  • 31 vehicles searched;
  • 926 RBTs conducted; and
  • 92 traffic infringement notices issued.

The deployment saw Operation Surge staff assist with more than 60 calls for service across the Hunter basin (in addition to general duty policing resources).

Operation Commander, Detective Superintendent Wayne Humphrey APM said this operation is another way to engage with the public, demonstrating a visible and large-scale response across the wider community.

“During Operation Surge, these officers were not bound by their policing districts – they were on the beat to serve the entire Hunter basin.

“We want the Hunter community to go out and about enjoying their lives, knowing they are safe and protected by their local police.

“This was the first time Operation Surge was put into practice, with more than 130 officers out in the field and a team of staff behind the scenes.

“Residents should feel confident that their local police are out in numbers, protecting their neighbourhoods and families,” Det Supt Humphrey said.

Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell APM said Operation Surge is just one of several proactive policing strategies being implemented across the region.

“We are continually putting the community first with increases in boots on the ground and proactive teams working within our police districts.

“Each district has a Target Action Group with dedicated officers focusing on certain crimes, including drug and stealing offences. While dedicated High Risk Domestic Violence units are out in the region every day.

“Strike Force Raptor North continues to crackdown on outlaw motorcycle gang activity across the Hunter, and between the four Hunter police districts, we received more than 20 probationary constables in the latest allocation.

“Operation Surge was created as a way to engage with the public whilst targeting and reacting to the fluid, multi-tasking crime environment.

“We will continue to roll out proactive operations and strategies like ‘Surge’ on a regular basis,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.