Operation Regional Shield detectives charge eight suspects with 49 offences
Kimberley Police have revealed eight offenders have been charged with 49 offences in just two days in Broome as Operation Regional Shield continues to target youth crime in WA’s north.
The charges included 14 counts of aggravated burglary, 13 counts of stealing, eight counts of stealing a motor vehicle, two counts of fail to stop and evading police and two counts of reckless driving.
Police also charged the suspects with two counts of criminal damage by fire, two counts of possession of stolen property, two counts of fraud, two counts of acts intended to cause bodily harm and one count of possession of a prohibited drug.
It comes after Police Minister Paul Papalia announced on July 31 there had been a 42 per cent drop in juvenile offences across the Kimberley since Operation Regional Shield began.
Just days before, on July 28, Kimberley Police Superintendent Craig Parkin also gave an update, citing a 25 per cent drop in burglary, stealing and stolen motor vehicle offences.
According to Supt Parkin, at the time police had solved 50 per cent of stolen vehicle cases, made 634 arrests, filed 885 charges and identified more than 2000 at-risk youth on the street which police transported home or to a family member.
Operation Regional Shield was first deployed in April with more than 30 officers and extra resources provided to the region.
Launching the operation in February, WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch said police had identified a “disturbing” social media trend known as the TikTok Challenge, which encourages groups of juveniles to “better” one another by increasing the volume and seriousness of criminal offending.
“At this time we’ve had 11 police vehicles rammed by stolen cars. We’ve had stolen cars ram into police buildings, and we’ve had four police officers hospitalised,” he said at the time.
“They are going to kill someone. They are going to kill themselves. I do not want any of my officers seriously injured or killed as a result of this behaviour.”
The response came after a TikTok video surfaced showing two boys, aged 11 and 12, and a 13-year-old girl inside a stolen vehicle that allegedly rammed a police car into a tree in Broome on February 4, injuring two police officers.
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