Seven people have been arrested in a five-day police blitz targeting anti-social behaviour and crime around Watergardens station.

Uniformed police as well as officers from the crime investigation unit, safer communities tasking unit, highway patrol and transit police were out in force around the Sydenham train station and Watergardens Town Centre from Monday to Friday last week to crack down on bad behaviour in the final week of the school holidays.

Acting Senior Sergeant Tim Hayward said Operation Scatter was a resounding success, with seven people arrested and 29 offences ranging from theft, theft from a motor vehicle, drug possession and driving offences detected.

“We’ve spoken to more than 1000 members of the public, checked more than 8800 vehicles and intercepted more than 100 cars,” he said.

“We’ve had some really positive feedback from people and shop owners about how beneficial it’s been to have the extra police presence around the area during the school holidays.

“And we’ve had a reduction in the amount of reported crime in the week we’ve been out here, which is obviously fantastic,” Acting Senior Sergeant Hayward said.

The Sheriff’s Office was also involved. With the help of automatic numberplate recognition cameras, officers caught fine evaders owing more than $177,000 in outstanding debts.

Brimbank Inspector Dallas Normington said the operation was timed to coincide with the school holidays, when police often witnessed a spike in theft, traffic and public order offences.

“Anyone coming to the area intending to cause trouble can expect to be greeted by a significant police presence,” he said last week.

“For most people, the school holidays are a time to relax and unwind but our police members will be hard at work disrupting any anti-social behaviour or crime in the area,” he said.