Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA

Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA

Minister for Police; Road Safety; Defence Industry; Veterans Issues

    Operation Regional Shield to crack down on Kimberley youth crime

    16/02/2022 11:00 AM
    • Enhanced police response to suppress and disrupt juvenile offending
    • Specialist police operational assets deployed to the Kimberley
    • Part of comprehensive cross-Government response to support at-risk youth

    More police officers and operational police assets have been deployed to the Kimberley as part of a massive crackdown on juvenile crime.


    Police Minister Paul Papalia today joined Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch in Broome to detail the new measures aimed at tackling high risk offending by juvenile offenders.


    Code-named Operation Regional Shield, a police strike team made up of specialist officers from the Regional Operations Group and Regional Investigations Unit will be based in Broome and dispatched to Kimberley locations as required.


    The operation also includes support from the Police Air Wing, Canine Section and State Intelligence Portfolio.


    Police have identified a disturbing social media trend known as the TikTok Challenge which encourages groups of juveniles to 'better' one another by increasing the volume and seriousness of criminal offending.


    The police operation is on a scale not previously seen in regional Western Australia, targeting the ringleaders of violent crime to suppress and disrupt further juvenile offending.


    The Department of Education is supporting the operation with a dedicated regionally-based attendance officer as a key point of contact for police to help transition students back into schools.


    The police operation is one part of a comprehensive, cross-Government response being rolled out in the region over coming weeks and will include further initiatives from the Department of Justice and Department of Communities to support at-risk youth.


    Comments attributed to Police Minister Paul Papalia:


    "This operation will not only significantly increase the visible police presence but it will provide tactical support to disrupt this very disturbing social media challenge.


    "It will be supported by other Government agencies, including the Department of Education and Department of Communities as part of a multi-pronged Government response to juvenile crime across the Kimberley, Pilbara and other regions.


    "In the coming days and weeks, the Government will be rolling out a range of new initiatives to support local communities.


    "Importantly for now, this police response will provide the community much needed respite from criminal offending by some of these hardcore repeat offenders."


    Minister's office - 6552 5600