Woori Yallock man arrested in Lilydale police operation

Transit police, authorised officers and PSOs conducted an operation at Lilydale Train Station on Tuesday 9 January. Picture: MIKAYLA VAN LOON.

By Mikayla Van Loon

Dozens of police and authorised officers from various units were patrolling the Lilydale Railway Station and bus services at Chirnside Park as part of Operation Pentagon last week, with a man from Woori Yallock with outstanding warrants caught.

The afternoon of 9 January saw 14 units from transit police, protective services and public order response show a presence at the train station as part of the three day operation, which also visited Frankston and Werribee.

Led by transit police senior sergeant Jarrod Ross, he said the operation was more about visibility and neighbourhood policing than actively arresting and searching.

“That’s probably one of the main reasons for this. People see us out and about and if they want to come and have a chat with us they can,” he said.

Lilydale was selected as a location due to the yearly data, having had an increase in criminal damages and reckless behaviour after the new station opened which saw a rise in police presence at the time.

Being school holidays and with commuters still getting back to work, Senior Sgt Ross said he wasn’t expecting as much activity despite it “being a pretty big station, it’s not one of our busiest” in the east.

Overall, seven people were arrested across the three-day operation, with two of the people residing in the eastern suburbs.

The Woori Yallock man, 35, was arrested for three outstanding warrants, while a Knoxfield woman, 26, was arrested for breaching an intervention order.

Senior Sgt Ross said partnering with authorised officers, both those who can travel outside of their designated train stations and those who man the ticket checks, allows police to run such operations effectively.

“The multi-modal officers can stand out here and get people off buses or trams and they can also do the trains,” he said.

“So if we want to do a big joint operation with all those people, we get authorised officers to cover the train station where they check tickets as people go in and these guys will come out and they’ll just hit the buses and bays.”

This then gives police a chance to run a name and licence search to find any outstanding warrants or fines.

Targeting buses as well as the stations, Senior Sgt Ross said was an important part of the operation because police find minor assaults and thefts of desired items by teenagers can occur on certain bus routes.

The operation encouraged people who witnessed unwanted behaviour on public transport to contact their local police station, Crime Stoppers or even transit police.

If there is no immediate danger, or you don’t want to make a formal report, you can inform Victoria Police by texting STOPIT to 0499 455 455 from your mobile phone.

STOPIT is a non-urgent, text-based notification service for the discreet reporting of unwanted sexual or anti-social behaviours on public transport.

Reporting these crimes informs police of where they need to target, with monthly reports deciding where operations will be conducted or where a police presence is most needed.