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Why police are starting a major new drug operation in Richmond

Kate + Quarters

Police are running a major operation in Richmond and surrounds targeting drug traffickers, while attempting to direct addicts to treatment services.

Operation Apollo, which begins today, will see a highly visible police presence in and around Richmond in a bid to target and reduce drug harm in the community.

It comes six months after the opening of the medically supervised injecting centre.

Local police had previously queried whether the facility would make their job more difficult.

Posing questions such as whether they could arrest someone on their way to the facility for drug possession.

But local area Commander, Acting Inspector Trish Duke, says the operation will specifically target drug traffickers.

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“We’re looking mainly for dealers … we don’t look to give cautions for dealers,” she told 3AW Breakfast.

A caller to Kate and Quarters asked for the rationale behind police publicising their operation.

“Because as soon as people see more people on the street they say ‘What’s going on?’,” she said.

“We don’t want the public to be frightened about what it’s about.”

“Our officers will be out and about to reassure community safety while gathering knowledge and intelligence to hold offenders to account.

“Our efforts will also focus on the key spots we see offenders frequent, as well as the wider surrounds to ensure we’re holding those doing the wrong thing to account.

“The aim of Operation Apollo is to reduce drug harm and the number of drug traffickers operating in Richmond by identifying and processing drug offenders to ensure the community can feel confident and safe.

“As always, police will be working hard to detect and deter crime to maintain the safety of the public.”

The operation runs until January 20.

Kate + Quarters