Sergeant Mick Bleakley (left), Constable Leonie See and Constable Shannon Gray talk to staff and patrons at the Torquay Hotel in the lead-up to Operation Unite.
Sergeant Mick Bleakley (left), Constable Leonie See and Constable Shannon Gray talk to staff and patrons at the Torquay Hotel in the lead-up to Operation Unite. ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN

Crackdown on drunken violence

FRASER Coast police will join officers from across Australia and New Zealand for a massive crackdown on drunken violence and anti-social behaviour over the next two days.

Operation Unite is the first of its kind, involving co-ordinated action by police forces in all states and jurisdictions.

Sergeant Mick Bleakley of Hervey Bay police said officers would tonight and tomorrow be focused on licensed premises, antisocial behaviour and breaches of liquor licensing legislation.

“Police will be making high-visibility patrols within the Maryborough District – that’s Maryborough and Hervey Bay,” Sgt Bleakley said.

“We’ll not only be looking at licensed premises but we’ll also be targeting known areas where people congregate to consume liquor at night.

“We’re also focusing on pubs’ compliance with the Liquor Act and making sure publicans are complying with responsible service of alcohol.”

Sgt Bleakley said officers would also be inspecting venues to ensure they had adequate management and security structure in place.

Operation Unite is the result of a forum held in Perth in November, where police commissioners from Australia and New Zealand gathered to discuss their commitment to changing the culture of binge-drinking in public places and getting the drinking public to take greater responsibility for its conduct.

“We want to send a strong message to irresponsible people that their actions will not be tolerated,” Maryborough District Operations Inspector Daryl Powell said.

“We want the public to be able to have a good time in a safe environment.”

Despite the operation running for just two days, he said police would remain out in force until the new year.



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