ZERO TOL­ER­ANCE

More than 120 po­lice swooped on Shalvey in a bid to stamp out sim­mer­ing ten­sions be­tween lo­cal gangs. The Stan­dard’s Ali­son Bald­ing was in­vited along.

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Ali­son Bald­ing

PO­LICE locked down Shalvey on Fri­day night and put lo­cal gangs on no­tice that vi­o­lence in the com­mu­nity will not be tol­er­ated.

With five shoot­ings in Mt Druitt since Christ­mas and a resur­gence of gang ac­tiv­ity, po­lice flooded the sub­urb to re­as­sure res­i­dents they were not alone.

Po­lice are also con­cerned about the grow­ing trends of YouTube fight videos and re­cent out-of-con­trol par­ties.

Mt Druitt Su­per­in­ten­dent Jeff Philippi said four known gangs in the area were be­lieved to be re­spon­si­ble for most of the re­cent un­rest.

He asked The Stan­dard to with­hold the gangs’ names to pre­vent bol­ster­ing their im­ages but spoke can­didly of their crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

Supt Philippi said the big­gest gang had up to 40 mem­bers and claimed the largest part of the Black­town LGA as their turf, fo­cus­ing most of their en­er­gies on street rob­beries.

An­other gang has a strong­hold in Fair­field and parts of Mt Druitt, and is be­lieved to have some links to re­cent party brawls. The other two gangs are split by sub­urbs in the Mt Druitt area.

All four gangs are made up of mem­bers aged in their late teens to early 30s.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of the 96,000 res­i­dents who live within our bound­aries are law-abid­ing cit­i­zens who are sup­port­ive of po­lice,” Supt Philippi said

“Our key mes­sage dur­ing this op­er­a­tion is to re­as­sure mem­bers of the com­mu­nity the NSW Po­lice Force will not tol­er­ate vi­o­lence, and those re­spon­si­ble will be iden­ti­fied and brought to jus­tice.”

More than 120 po­lice blan­keted the area on Fri­day night for Op­er­a­tion Hol­ly­dene, tak­ing a zero-tol­er­ance ap­proach to bad be­hav­iour.

The op­er­a­tion in­volved of­fi­cers from Mt Druitt, PolAir, the Mounted Unit, Dog Squad, Traf­fic and High­way Pa­trol and the Trail Bike Unit. Perime­ters were set up by 7.30pm to en­sure any­one driv­ing in and out of the area was spo­ken to by po­lice.

Si­mul­ta­ne­ous op­er­a­tions were car­ried out at Mt Druitt train sta­tion, and checks were made at busi­nesses and li­censed premises.

The strong­est po­lice pres­ence was in renowned trou­ble spots such as Pic­colo Way, Shalvey, where shots were fired at pass­ing cars in July last year.

Va Sos­sai­ete lives on the street with her seven chil­dren. She wel­comed the po­lice pres­ence.

“I am re­ally scared to live here and see this all the time, it’s ter­ri­fy­ing,” she said.

“The po­lice come to the door and talk about gangs in the area and gang mem­bers in the street. I am scared for my chil­dren.”

Her part­ner, Sam Pea, also wel­comed the op­er­a­tion.

“I feel much safer to see all the po­lice come here,” he said. “I wish they would come ev­ery night.”

I am re­ally scared to live here and see this all the time, it’s ter­ri­fy­ing

Va Sos­sai­ete

Pic­ture: David Swift

Po­lice made 17 ar­rests on the night and laid 20

charges for a range of of­fences dur­ing Op­er­a­tion Hol­ly­dene which locked down

Shalvey.

Pic­tures: Dave Swift

Po­lice were called in from var­i­ous com­mands and units to par­tic­i­pate in Op­er­a­tion Hol­ly­dene.

Mt Druitt Se­nior Con­sta­ble Louise Madden was among more than 120 po­lice to take part in the op­er­a­tion.

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