24 November 2022

Operation TORIC marks 150 apprehensions as rates of crime drop

| Claire Fenwicke
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police officer on a construction site

Operation TORIC officers have been targeting recidivist offenders and dangerous drivers across the Territory. Photo: ACT Policing.

Operation TORIC has marked 150 apprehensions since the enforcement program began, with the arrest of a 48-year-old Lyneham man.

The man was arrested on Tuesday (22 November) on an outstanding warrant for previous offences.

Operation TORIC Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Shane Scott said the intelligence-led operation was having a huge impact on crime rates across Canberra, averaging almost 10 arrests a week.

“Not only are we directly stopping recidivist behaviour by apprehending people, hopefully other people are reconsidering criminal behaviour,” he said.

“Last week, the number of reported residential burglaries, commercial burglaries and stolen motor vehicles were all in the single-digit range.

“Putting it simply, fewer people are now committing these types of crime.”

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ACT Policing established Operation TORIC targeting recidivist offenders to address an increase in motor vehicle thefts and associated dangerous driving and other crimes in the Territory.

The operation began on 1 August 2022, and the 150 apprehensions include 139 arrests.

The other offenders were issued court attendance notices, freshly charged for previous offences, or summonsed to appear in court.

A total of 355 charges have been laid, more than a third relating to driving offences.

Drug driving offences accounted for 59 charges, being where the driver returned a positive oral fluid analysis (OFA) result or refused to undertake an OFA; 32 charges arose from instances of driving while disqualified or suspended, and 42 from stealing a vehicle, riding in, or driving a stolen motor vehicle.

Noting Operation TORIC was established to target offenders already known to police, 44 people were on bail when they were apprehended, 19 were subject to good behaviour orders, a further three were on intensive correction orders, 24 were the subject of warrants for previous offences, and nine were on parole.

Detective Inspector Scott said some had become familiar faces to his team.

“Altogether we’ve arrested 134 people, and many of those people are now off the streets, but unfortunately some of these repeat offenders have not changed their behaviour,” he said.

“Of the people apprehended more than once, one man has been arrested four times by Operation TORIC officers. He is now in custody, awaiting trial. Fifteen others have been apprehended twice.”

Operation TORIC has now been made a permanent part of ACT Policing, with the next step to work more closely with the Proactive Intervention and Disruption Team and professional experts to develop strategies to break the cycle of recidivist behaviour and reoffending.

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Meanwhile the operation appears to have had a flow-on effect, with rates of other offences also going down.

Comparing the period of 18 September to 17 October with 18 October to 17 November, residential burglary offences dropped 31 per cent, commercial burglary offences went down 53 per cent and stolen motor vehicle offences decreased by 31 per cent.

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