Old warrants coming home to roost

police

ACT Policing and the New South Wales Police Force are currently executing Operation Azine, aimed at reducing the number of outstanding arrest warrants across the ACT and surrounding New South Wales region.

Operation Azine began on 19 May 2014, targeting those people with outstanding arrests warrants for a range of offences including theft, driving while disqualified, and drink-driving. If a person does not attend court as directed (as a result of a summons or subpoena), a Magistrate is empowered to issue an arrest warrant.

The first phase of the operation was executed by mail, in which people with warrants were sent a letter requesting they attend a police station to have the matter resolved. Some of the warrants date from offences committed in 1995.

Phase two of Operation Azine began on Friday (25 July) and finished last Monday (28 July). This phase involved ACT Policing and NSW Police Force members working collaboratively to arrest people with outstanding arrest warrants in the region. A total of 28 people have been arrested by ACT Policing and the NSW Police Force during this phase, with four extraditions to the ACT initiated by NSW Police. Six people were arrested by ACT Policing and extradited to appear in court in NSW.

Of the 28 people taken into custody, six were as a result of surrenders to police.

Superintendent Rob Wilson from ACT Policing Judicial Operations said this is the first time a cross-border warrants operation has been conducted in the local region and highlighted the excellent working relationship between ACT Policing and the NSW Police Force.

“Operation Azine is still ongoing, so if you have received a letter from either ACT Policing or the NSW Police Force, we would encourage you to attend your local police station and have the matter resolved.

“Arrests warrants can remain active indefinitely so don’t be misled into thinking that the matter will simply go away; it won’t. You can be arrested and face court for the matter, even years after the offence,” Superintendent Wilson said.

NSW Police Monaro Local Area Command Crime Manager Detective Inspector Shane Box said the operation was an excellent example of inter-jurisdictional co-operation.
“Our message to criminals in southern NSW is a simple one – it doesn’t matter what side of the border you are on – we will find you,” Detective Inspector Box said.

Since the commencement of Operation Azine, 131 arrest warrants have been cleared or information gathered on the person with the warrant.

“Arrests warrants don’t disappear or vanish, they will eventually catch up with you. If not addressed, arrest warrants may have an effect on important elements of people’s lives such as employment security checks and visa applications for overseas travel,” Superintendent Wilson said.

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