Operation Wagonwheel targets traffic offences, drug crime in New England Highway blitz | The Northern Daily Leader


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A MAN has been charged with rural crime offences while another is facing aggravated break-in allegations after a two-day blitz saw towns saturated with police. Operation Wagonwheel was rolled out across the south of the Oxley policing area over the weekend and saw dozens of police hit the streets. Wagonwheel is the Oxley force’s proactive policing blitz that’s seen dozens charged previously with police starting on the streets, before zeroing in on property and drug crime. “The primary target was drug and traffic crime and the history of strike forces in the Oxley Police District shows us that the New England Highway is a main thoroughfare for drug runners,” Oxley Detective Acting Inspector Jason Darcy told the Leader. READ ALSO: “The main issue is to disrupt that distribution network, to stop the spread of illegal drugs into our communities, because we know that drugs are a major factor in other crime areas like domestic violence and property crime.” The dog unit was deployed to Willow Tree in one of the day’s operations, backed by local police and the drug bus. “This operation involved highway patrol; the drug unit; Quirindi sector police; the dog squad; rural crime; detectives; the Western Region Enforcement Squad; Target Action Group; the crime management unit; and general duties police,” Detective Darcy said. “There was almost 70 random drug tests conducted as well as more than 1000 random breath tests. “A number of traffic offences were detected, and police also stopped and searched a number of stock trucks to ensure they were compliant. “Rural crime is a focus for us and this was about pro-activity and we have seen one male charged with illegal hunting and trespass offences. “Another male is the subject of aggravated break-and-enter offences following investigations by police and this operation shows that while it is a high-visibility blitz, there are a number of crime categories that we target as part of our work.” Police said officers made drug detections, and carried out several bail and AVO compliance checks.

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