Weapons seized, nine arrested in major police operation following stabbings
A series of Victoria Police operations in the CBD and Carlton has seen an alarming number of weapons seized, including dagger swords, machetes, an axe, and box-cutters.
Nine people were arrested for armed robbery, weapons, and drug-related offences as part of Operation Omni, a beefed-up police presence conducted over the weekend of November 12-13.
The operation came after a stabbing in Bourke St during the early hours of Sunday, October 30 left a 20-year-old Cranbourne man dead, while another two men were stabbed in another incident on King St on the same night.
Two men have been charged with murder in relation to the Bourke St incident, while another four men have been charged with affray.
The major operation involved police from the Melbourne Embona Taskforce and the VIPER Taskforce and Transit unit, which resulted in three dagger swords, two machetes, one axe, two box cutters and two switchblade folding knives being seized.
Among the 647 people searched by police was a 22-year-old man who was caught carrying a flick knife on Collins St. He was issued an infringement notice for possession of a controlled weapon without a lawful reason.
Seven males, allegedly linked to three armed robberies in Southbank and the CBD, were allegedly armed with edged and controlled weapons, stealing mobile phones and personal cards from their victims, with one of the victims suffering minor injuries. Those arrested were mostly aged between 15 and 17, with an 18-year-old from Deer Park also arrested after they were seen trying to leave the city at Flinders St Railway Station about 1.30am on Sunday, November 13.
Police said all outstanding property was recovered and returned to the victims, with edged weapons also seized. All males arrested have been released with intent to charge on summons, while the investigation continued.
Police also arrested a 21-year-old man at Southern Cross Railway Station where officers allegedly found a small quantity of cannabis, an unlawful possession of prescription drugs of dependence and a switchblade folding knife.
Among the 12 vehicles intercepted during the operation was a 1999 Hyundai Excel on Gratton St, Carlton in which police allegedly uncovered a small quantity of cannabis, an axe, a machete and two box cutters.
The driver, a 33-year-old man, was arrested and charged with weapons, drugs, and outstanding warrant offences.
Operation Omni regularly runs across different areas of Victoria to detect weapons, protect community safety, gather intelligence, and deter anyone from carrying weapons.
Under the Control of Weapons Act 1990, Victoria Police can declare an area a designated area for weapon searches.
These operations are intelligence-led and centre around locations where previous incidents may have occurred, such as licensed premises, transport hubs and shopping centres.
Victoria Police Acting Superintendent Troy Papworth said each life lost to senseless violence was one too many.
“In an ideal world, we would never have to run operations such as these, however we make absolutely no apologies for targeting those carrying weapons and looking for trouble,” he said.
“Knowing where these people socialise, who they associate with, and where they are most likely to offend, gives us the best chance of preventing serious crimes from occurring.”
“Operations such as these complement the work being done by detectives across the state every day managing high risk persons of interest, such as bail compliance checks, patrols of high-risk community locations, and the execution of search warrants.” •