Police in carjackings crackdown

By Alesha Capone

Brimbank is the state’s top spot for carjackings, according to figures from the Crime Statistics Agency.

CSA data supplied to Star Weekly shows there was a total of 200 carjackings reported to Victoria Police between April last year and March this year – 48 of those were recorded in Melbourne’s west.

There were 18 carjackings in Brimbank, including three in St Albans and three in Sunshine North for the 12 month period.

Casey, in the city’s south-east, recorded 16 carjackings for the same time frame, followed by Greater Dandenong and Hume, which both had 12. Melton was fifth-highest in the state with 11 carjackings, including five in the Melton township itself.

Elsewhere in the west, there were seven carjackings in Hobsons Bay, and six each in Wyndham and Maribyrnong.

Brimbank’s Acting Police Inspector Helen Chugg said that “unfortunately” Brimbank was among the areas that had seen an increase in carjackings in recent years.

“We understand there is community concern about these crimes,” she said.

“While this type of crime is high profile and has high community concern, thankfully it is rare.

“Carjackings often involve cross-regional offending, meaning offenders may reside in one area, steal a car on the other side of town and then commit further offences in another area.

“To tackle this, our detectives work together at a cross-regional level, sharing intelligence and linking offences to inform our operational response to solve the crimes.”

Inspector Chugg said Taskforce Wayward, a police operation which began in March last year in response to “high harm offences” in the west, had led to 197 people being arrested.

She said another operation, Operation Regnant, resulted in more than 650 arrests.

“Local police complement these taskforces with highly visible proactive patrols aimed at disruption and prevention,” she said.

“We are cracking down on people wanted on warrants, ensuring offenders are complying with their strict bail conditions, and managing persons of interest.”