Australia And New Zealand Crackdown On Drunken Violence
September 11, 2010 at 2:28 PM
Alcohol & Drug Abuse News
Police in Australia and New Zealand have launched a massive crackdown on drunken violence. Operation Unite Bravo, which began at 6.00pm Friday, will continue until 6.00am Sunday. Hundreds have been taken into custody.
Ian Horne from the Australian Hotels Association in South Australia says a strong police presence is essential, but there need to be consequences.
He says police in SA need to follow the New South Wales and Victorian lead by fining people who become disorderly or refuse to leave licensed premises when asked.
"Nothing is quite so sobering as waking up with a $550 on-the-spot fine in your top pocket," he said.
SA Police figures show more than 80 per cent of aggravated robberies and assaults on police officers in Hindley Street in 2008-09 were alcohol-related.
Thousands of extra police were deployed at trouble spots, and highway and marine patrols were stepped up.
New South Wales police arrested 442 people and laid 511 charges - an increase of 109 arrests compared with the first night of the same operation last year.
Across NSW, 11,784 breath tests were carried out on drivers, with 163 people caught over the limit.
There were 1454 traffic infringement notices issued in NSW an 10 officers were assaulted, none seriously.
A 21-year-old man was arrested over a glassing incident in Sydney's Kings Cross and three youths were held for throwing a bin at a cinema screen, causing $20,000 damage.
In Victoria, police arrested 54 people in Melbourne on Friday night, 45 for drunkenness and nine for assault.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said on Saturday morning the message of the operation was that officers "were not going to tolerate drunken, violent, unruly behaviour".
"We need these people just to think about their behaviour, their alcohol intake and just start to act a little bit more responsibly," Mr Walshe said.
There were 26 people arrested in the Northern territory, 12 in Darwin.
In WA, police arrested 135 people and issued almost 200 summonses, 185 traffic infringements and 182 move-on notices.
WA police conducted 1215 breath tests and nine people were caught with readings over 0.08 and 10 people had readings over 0.05, while four people were caught driving under the influence of drugs.
A female officer was taken to a Perth hospital after suffering cuts from broken glass when a beer bottle was thrown at a police car at Forrestfield in the city's southeast.
A male officer was punched in the face by a man who had allegedly refused to pay a taxi fare at Padbury in Perth's north.
Tasmania recorded eight arrests and police issued 74 move-on orders and 27 summonses. One assault was reported in Hobart.
Queensland, ACT and South Australian police will release their arrest statistics on Sunday for the full operation.
Queensland police said they were generally pleased with the behaviour of people at licensed premises on the first night of the operation.
Commander Trevor Carter said the operation was running simultaneously across Australia and New Zealand and would target "alcohol misuse, violence and anti-social behaviour tonight and Saturday evening".
"Police on the streets will be targeting drunks, anti-social and offensive behaviour."
He said licensing police will also target pubs and bars to ensure operators are complying with the requirements of their liquor licenses.
"Our message is this - come into the city this weekend and enjoy yourself. But if you want to cause trouble or drink to excessive - we will be out in force and we will take action."
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