Local police campaigns continue
CBD police are continuing current campaigns during September.
Acting Snr-Sgt Lisa Prentice-Evans, of Melbourne East Police Station, said Operation Minta would continue through September in an attempt to wind back illegal street begging.
“The Salvos, the council and Justice Connect Homeless Law have been fantastic,” she said.
Acting Snr-Sgt Prentice-Evans said police had been working with these groups to divert street beggars into appropriate assistance programs.
She said street begging, while still prevalent, had reduced as a result of the joint effort.
Acting Snr-Sgt Prentice-Evans pointed out that “rough sleeping” was a separate issue which did not involve police unless begging was involved.
She said police only got involved when homeless people impeded public access.
Acting Snr-Sgt Prentice-Evans said Operation Multi, under which police were targeting thefts from high-rise and other public car parks was continuing, as was Operation Central.
She explained that Operation Central was concentrating on the “high risk” north of the CBD around the State Library, RMIT, QV Centre and Melbourne Central.
“It’s focused on theft, graffiti and anti-social behaviour,” she said.
Acting Snr-Sgt Prentice-Evans said the Operational Response Group had been involved to bolster the efforts of local police.
“We’ve had great feedback from security staff at those locations that it had a good impact,”
Acting Snr-Sgt Prentice-Evans said. Another police operation, aimed at protecting pedestrians and cyclists, was also continuing, she said.
She said uniformed police presence aimed to educate and discourage dangerous practices.