IT was a proactive policing blitz, a nine-hour saturation of law enforcement across the Hunter that ended in 18 people being charged with 31 offences.
More than 130 officers from the four Hunter police districts - Newcastle City, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens-Hunter and Hunter Valley - conducted Operation Surge between Friday at 5pm and Saturday at 2am, searching vehicles, conducting RBTs, issuing infringements, detecting drugs and inspecting businesses.
Among those involved were general duties police, Police Dog Unit and PolAir, who together conducted a high-visibility saturation of the Hunter and responded to more than 60 calls for assistance. The aim of the operation was to "create an evolving environment with the ability to deploy resources where they are needed with the aid of real-time intelligence", police said.
In total, 18 people were arrested and charged with 31 offences. Police inspected 101 business, made 14 drug detections, searched 31 vehicles, conducted 926 roadside breath tests and issued 92 traffic infringements.
Operation Surge Commander, Detective Superintendent Wayne Humphrey, said the initiative was another way for police to engage with the public while demonstrating a visible and large-scale response across the wider community.
"During Operation Surge these officers were not bound by their policing districts - they were on the beat to serve the entire Hunter basin," Detective Superintendent Humphrey said.
Video of the operation showed staff in a control room looking at a triple-zero call out map of the Hunter.
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