Police from the Marine Area Command have coordinated a three-day joint operation designed to test the capabilities of state and federal agencies working together in a major border protection exercise.
The operation, which began yesterday, involves NSW Police officers from areas including Marine Area Command and POLair, supported by police from the Tweed/Byron Local Area Command.
Operation Baker is a multi-agency initiative co-ordinated by NSW Police and supported by Australian Customs Service, NSW Fisheries, Australian Fisheries and Management Authority, NSW Maritime Authority, Australian Federal Police, and Queensland Police.
The exercise is targeting illegal activities in the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone out to 200 nautical miles to sea. Vessels are being stopped and checked for legislative compliance and illegal activities in Australian waters.
NSW Police Marine Area Command’s Sergeant Joe McNulty and Enforcement Operations Manager with Australian Customs, Mr Greg Corrigan, said they were confident the agencies working cooperatively together would make the operation a success.
“There has been many months of planning going into this operation and demonstrates the capability of several agencies working together to target illegal off-shore activities.”
Two-22m NSW Police offshore patrol vessels
, Alert and Nemesis, are operating within the 200 nautical mile zone and supported by a Marine Operational Support Team (MOST) who are conducting boarding operations with Customs and fisheries officers.
“This maritime enforcement operation is unique, combining the Commonwealth and States’ law enforcement air and maritime resources,” Sgt McNulty said.
Coastwatch and the NSW Police air-wing, POLair, are providing air support throughout the operation.