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Mounted police have trotted through central Geelong as part of a crackdown on school holiday hooligans.
Operation City-Safe ran across both weeks of the holidays to “address anti-social behaviour”, Victoria Police said.
The operation had a special focus on “the vicinity of the mall and bus exchange”, police said.
Patrolling officers provided a “proactive police response to street-level offences in the central activities area” along withg a “visible police presence to improve the public’s perception of safety”.
Several members from Geelong Police Station and Victoria Police’s Mounted Branch worked on the operation over the two weeks.
Victoria Police said the officers adopted “zero tolerance” to street offences and anti-social behaviour including alcohol consumption.
The operation dealt out several infringement notices and arrests in its first week, police said.
“We thank the community for their support and positive comments during the running of this operation.
“Operation commander Senior Sergeant Michael Turner has stated that the community and the traders have all expressed how the perception of the area has changed over the first few days of the operation.”
Anti-social behaviour has blighted central Geelong for years, with traders demanding an increased police presence and other initiatives to deter crime.
In August last year traders told the Indy the problem was “getting worse” as teenagers and older youths played up in the area of the mall. One trader, who declined to be identified, said people with mental health issues were also involved in city-centre trouble.
Traders have called for police to establish a booth in the vicinity of the mall, which the state opposition has promised ahead of November’s election.
Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood, a former detective, has also thrown his weight behind the police booth push.

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