Victoria Police is primed for New Year’s Eve celebrations, with thousands of police being deployed across the state to monitor crowd behaviour, maintain public order and ensure everyone brings in 2019 as safely as possible.
Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said police would be saturating the CBD, towns, roads and popular holiday destinations with a clear focus on community safety.
“From the shores, to the suburbs and the CBD, police will be there with the community every step of the way ensuring you are safe and feel safe,” Mr Patton said.
“We want to see Victorians enjoy themselves safely and responsibly, so we’ll be focusing on anti-social behaviour, violence, and drink and drug driving.
“If you come into the city or any New Year’s Eve events across the state to cause trouble, don’t bother. You will be arrested and held to account if you break the law.”
Frontline police will be supported by our specialist squads where needed, including the Water Police, Mounted Branch, Operations Response Unit, Public Order Response Team, Dog Squad, and Air Wing.
The highly-trained Critical Incident Response Team rapid response squad will be patrolling the CBD, inner city areas and places of mass gathering, ready to respond to high-risk incidents as they do 365 days a year.
“Excessive drinking can lead to serious and devastating consequences, including violent crime, serious assaults, anti-social behaviour and road trauma,” Mr Patton said.
“Police will have zero tolerance for any behaviour that puts the safety of others at risk.
“Enjoy yourself this New Year’s Eve and celebrate the year that was, but please drink responsibly and keep an eye out for your mates.”
Mr Patton said with hundreds of thousands of people expected to be out and about celebrating; there would be a lot more pedestrians on our roads and footpaths.
“Everyone needs to look up and look out for each other to ensure we move around and get home safely.”
Mr Patton also warned anyone who has booked a short-term rental and plans on causing trouble or breaking the law, to expect a swift and firm response from police.
“Victoria Police is constantly scanning and monitoring short term rental booking across the state in order to detect potential high-risk bookings,” he said.
“We are working closely with the providers to receive and share real-time information so we can alert home owners if we hear about a planned party at their property that poses significant risks.
“For home owners leasing out your property over the New Year period, police strongly encourage you to have an active oversight of all bookings.
“If you have any suspicions about a booking at your property, you should contact local police immediately.
“Police will gather intelligence about the booking and work with the owner and booking provider to assess risks and put appropriate prevention measures or operational responses in place.”