Three new police taskforces tracking down offenders and identifying crime hotspots in the South West have already made arrests since they started last week.
The intelligence-driven taskforces are in Australind, Busselton and Bunbury, where Operation Shark Fin is based.
Crime Intelligence unit manager Sen. Sgt Mark Smith said the strategy developed due to increases in vehicle thefts and burglaries in the coastal districts.
“We’ve already made a number of significant arrests and have had a great deal of success,” Sen. Sgt Smith said.
“We have a great group of officers achieving very good results.”
Less than two weeks in, Sen. Sgt Smith is still organising the statistics from the taskforces but said the operation hit the ground running.
“We respond to what’s happening now and not what happened a week ago,” he said.
“We need to be able to analyse information quickly, daily, so the officers can target criminals.”
They collect and analyse information by using staff from different police stations in the area where crime is occurring.
“This week alone we’ve had staff from Waroona come in to give us information about crimes that are happening there,” Sen. Sgt Smith said.
“The benefits of it being a district taskforce is that it enables us to target crimes daily in places they’re being committed.
“Every day we meet to prepare a tactical direction so the officers know where to go and who to target.”
Sen. Sgt Smith said taskforce had a mix of detective inspectors, inquiry staff, general duties and road police officers and a canine team.
“It’s a multi-skilled process so they can deal with virtually anything that they come across,” he said.
Bunbury’s new police dog Geoffrey and his handler Const. Jake Carruthers is also involved with the taskforce.
“They have a very important role within the taskforce because they can work anywhere there’s crime in the district,” Sen. Sgt Smith said.
Bunbury’s Operation Shark Fin and the Australind and Busselton taskforces will be a permanent part of policing in the district.