WAGGA police are winning the fight against youth crime, with property offences dropping by a staggering 60 percent in the last week alone.
It comes as police continue their assault against known repeat offenders, making 16 juvenile arrests since launching Operation Assure on February 4.
Just months ago, the youth crime epidemic had skyrocketed to a car being stolen and two homes broken into nearly every night in Wagga.
One month on since police called on additional officers from neighbouring commands to target known offenders during “high-crime times”, offence rates have drastically dropped.
“As a result of the operation, we’re seeing a downward trend in relation to property crime,” Inspector Andrew Spliet said.
“I can advise that just in the last week we’ve had a 42 per cent decrease in our break and enter offences and also a 60 per cent decrease in our steal from motor vehicle offences.
“That really goes down to the good work of the local police here targeting the right people and making sure they’re complying with the condition of their bail.”
A fortnight ago, the operation uncovered an “Aladdin’s cave” of stolen property in as Ashmont home, which could account account for up to 90 per cent of goods taken during the recent crime wave.
“We’ve had a number of extra police that have dedicated themselves to Operation Assure shifts, where the primary focus is known property offenders and making sure people are complying with their bail,” Inspector Spliet said.
“There’s always people out there who have been given strict bail conditions by the court and don’t comply with them.”
On Tuesday morning, Wagga police searched multiple houses for two men, aged 30 and 33, who had breached their bail conditions by failing to report.
The growing reality of bail breaches triggered Wagga MP Daryl Maguire to appeal to magistrates to crack down on known offenders who thumbed their noses at court orders and committed crimes while on bail two weeks ago.
“Our job is to go out there and ensure people are complying with their conditions and if they’re not, it’s up to us to put them back before the courts,” Inspector Spliet said.
Police continue to work with community groups to help rehabilitate troubled youth.