THE SUCCESS of Wagga Police’s latest “delinquent bust” has sparked calls for Operation Assure to become a regular fixture in the community.
Officers made a staggering 22 arrests in two weeks during the long-awaited return of the “kiddie crim” crackdown, which has brought a renewed sense of security to the city.
Wagga’s state MP Daryl Maguire, a driving force behind the original campaign, has left the potential for expanding the campaign in the hands of the Local Area Command.
“This operation has worked to send a strong message to those who thumb their nose at authorities that the community will not tolerate their actions,” he said.
“I’m all for expanding the operation but I’m leaving that matter in the very capable hands of Commander Bob Noble.”
It comes as police confirmed they would continue to conduct high-visibility initiatives in the future, but had not yet confirmed any short term plans.
Wagga Neighbourhood Watch (WNW) president David Abbott, who on Tuesday had red paint smeared on his car by vandals, said the operation was only the first step in curbing the city’s youth crime scourge.
“The war on crime is still far from over,” he told The Daily Advertiser.
“We’d love it if these operations ran 365 days a year because having those extra patrols to target youth crime absolutely makes people safer.
“Unfortunately it does come down to funding, but when they’re running it’s very successful.”
Mr Abbott added that both he and members of WNW had observed a spike in vandalism recently.
“Perhaps that’s the next thing we try to knuckle down on,” he said.
To be eligible to extend Operation Assure or create a brand-new operation, Wagga Local Area Command and Mr Maguire would need to apply to the NSW Police Force Commissioner.
Operation Assure 2 ran for only two weeks, six weeks less than its predecessor.