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Police swoop on suburbs during major operation

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Launceston’s northern suburbs were locked down today as part of a major operation targeting offenders.

Acting Sergeant Aziz Melick said the lockdown occurred as part of Operation Raptor, a special taskforce aimed at cracking down on crime in the Launceston area.

“The operation included more than 20 members from Northern Road and Public Order Services, Uniform, CIB, and Operation Raptor taskforce aswell as utilising the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Police Dog Fang,” Acting Sergeant Melick said.

“Our main focus was to execute a number of warrants, conduct random breath tests and oral fluid tests and search vehicles in order to target offenders.”

As a result of the operation to date there has been:

• 93 offenders arrested or charged by summons
• over 400 charges laid
• 12 firearms seized
• 7 motor vehicles clamped / confiscated

In addition, 450 random breath tests were conducted in today’s operation.

• Of these, 6 drivers tested positive for illicit drugs
• 2 disqualified drivers detected
• 1 drink driver
• 2 offenders for non-driving drug related matters

Acting Sergeant Melick said that Operation Raptor was a 10-strong dedicated crime reduction taskforce focusing on prolific offenders: checking they are complying with court-ordered curfews, searching their houses and locating and arresting them after they commit further offences.

“The taskforce is particularly focused on volume crime including home burglary, car burglary and shoplifting,” he said.

“Our most prolific recidivists offend constantly and our taskforce officers are monitoring them very closely to hold them to account."

“We’re asking the community and business owners help us too. People can help prevent their homes, cars and businesses from becoming targets for thieves by taking some simple steps to make them less appealing to criminals."

“If we take away the easy opportunities for these people to steal then we can help reduce crime,” Acting Sergeant Melick said.

Information can be provided anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at crimestopperstas.com.au