PHOTOS

Police charge 59 people in street crime blitz

Almost 60 people were charged during a two-day police operation targeting street-level crime, including knife crime, in south-west Sydney.

In response to recent incidents in the area, officers from all nine Police Area Commands within the South West Metropolitan Region joined forces with specialist units, including the Region Enforcement Squad, Traffic and Highway Patrol, and Police Transport Command, to conduct a proactive high-visibility police operation.

The operation, which ran over two nights (February 6 and 7), was intelligence-led, with a focus on the people and places known to have previously been involved in knife-crime offences.

Particular emphasis was placed on conducting bail compliance checks on those with a history relating to knife-crime, and business inspections at several tobacconists known to sell bladed weapons.

Officers were split into three teams (east, north and south), which covered south-west Sydney including Fairfield and Liverpool.

During the operation, police seized 16 knives, conducted 426 person searches, issued 27 traffic infringements and 142 transport infringements and charged 59 people with offences ranging from stealing motor vehicles to drug possession and possessing a knife.

Additionally, police conducted 43 bail compliance checks and issued 14 criminal infringement notices.

South West Metropolitan Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell, said every day NSW Police are out on the streets targeting criminals who carry knives and other weapons with the "intention of causing fear or harm to others."

"Last year alone, police seized over 4000 knives during person searches across NSW", Assistant Commissioner Thurtell said.

"Custody of a knife in a public place without a reasonable excuse is a criminal offence and carrying a knife for self-protection is not a reasonable excuse.

"This operation used intelligence holdings to formulate an operational strategy; identifying and targeting known people, places and trends in the south-west region.

"As would be expected in an operation of this nature, officers also detected other criminal activity relating to drug offences, stolen property, and street crime, as well as a range of traffic offences.

"We will continue our focus on these types of offences, as every knife taken off the streets is one less weapon that could have been used to cause fear or violence in the community."