News State Victoria News Victorian police arrest 14 people and seize cars over January hoon meet in St Kilda

Victorian police arrest 14 people and seize cars over January hoon meet in St Kilda

Photos posted to social media showed a man standing on a car during the meet-up. Photo: Facebook/Westside Car And Bike Meets
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Police have arrested 14 people over the last two days in relation to a hoon meet which drew hundreds of people in Melbourne’s south-east.

Video uploaded to social media in late January showed a large crowd of people blocking off Marine Parade in St Kilda, with one witness saying it was like being “in the middle of a mob”.

Detectives from the Port Phillip Crime Investigation Unit executed 14 search warrants after what police called “thorough investigations over the past few weeks”.

They arrested 14 men after searching properties in Springvale, Roxburgh Park, Boronia, Mernda, Hillside, Blackburn, Malvern East, Officer, Lalor, Dandenong North, Preston and Hampton Park.

A police spokesperson said the men, aged between 18 and 45, were charged with a slew of offences including endangering a person, possessing prohibited or controlled weapons, drug possession, possessing imitation firearms and attempted criminal damage.

The large crowd blocked off traffic in St Kilda late on January 21. Photo: Facebook/Westside Car And Bike Meets

Investigators seized 12 cars worth more than $370,000 in total.

“Hoon activity is dangerous and not simply a bit of harmless fun. We’ve seen these kinds of behaviours result in both death and serious injury,” Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Russell Barrett said in a statement.

Police crack down on hoons in new operation

Victoria Police has launched a new statewide anti-hoon operation to target what it says is a rise in the number of hoon meets.

Operation Achilles will share intelligence across the state to identify people organising the meetings.

“Operation Achilles will target those who blatantly disregard the law and as a result, put the safety of the entire community at risk,” Assistant Commissioner Barrett said.

The intelligence-sharing effort will include the Highway Patrol, Crime Investigation Units, Divisional Response Units and local police.

Assistant Commissioner Barrett told ABC Radio Melbourne police would be looking at changing infrastructure in known hoon hotspots.