Top transport cop Bernie Ryan launches Rolling Shield

Detective Superintendent Bernie Ryan.

Detective Superintendent Bernie Ryan.

Police from Wollongong Transport Command are in the midst of a high-visibility operation to help protect rail users heading out on Friday and Saturday nights.

As part of Operation Rolling Shield, police intelligence has been used to identify strategic locations across the rail network where officers can best be deployed.

The operation replaces those tasks formerly undertaken by transit officers, and is ongoing between the hours of 6pm and 6am, Fridays and Saturdays.

Detective Superintendent Bernie Ryan from the Police Transport Command South West Sector said the operation was about making public transport users feel safe.

"Wollongong is an entertainment hub, and a lot of commuters are coming up from the Lake Illawarra area to go out for dinner, that sort of thing," he said.

"We want to deploy in those times to ensure the safety of commuters on those nights."

Supt Ryan said there had been 10 fewer reported crime incidents since the operation began on June 23 compared with the two previous weeks.

Since June 23, police have recorded a total of 67 transport offences in the Wollongong area as part of the operation.

A total of 23 people have been searched, nine have been moved on and there have been two drug detections.

There has also been one assault, one case of stealing, two cases of intoxicated persons/street offences and two cases of child/young persons at risk.

Supt Ryan said while the reduction in crime since the beginning of the operation was pleasing, he urged public transport users against becoming complacent.

"It would be prudent to exercise caution because there are a number of factors impacting on crime including the recent cold weather and the recent number of arrests made in relation to [graffiti] matters," he said. "It's not uncommon for that to translate into a reduction of crime."

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