By Andrew Starke
Police in Victoria and Queensland have defended tough new measures to control troublemakers and curb alcohol-related violence.
In Victoria police have conducted targeted operations using new powers to ban people from entertainment precincts and to issue fines to people for being drunk and disorderly as part of a continued effort to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Police Minister Bob Cameron said the laws were already having an impact in Victoria’s regional areas.
“Anti-social behaviour has no place on our streets and the Brumby Labor Government is committed to arming police with the tools they need to tackle drunken and loutish behaviour,” Cameron said.
“We are providing police with pre-emptive tools designed to diffuse situations and deter unacceptable behaviour so Victorians can safely enjoy public places in peace.”
In Bendigo, police have been using new measures such as banning notices and $234 on-the-spot fines for drunk and disorderly behaviour during their ongoing operation in the city’s nightlife precinct.
So far police have issued five banning notices, prohibiting those people from licensed premises and the entertainment area for up to 24-hours.
In Queensland the Bligh Government has defended itself again opposition attacks on its policing blitz on alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour.
“This $1.5 million blitz was designed to provide an additional 16,000 hours of police enforcement in entertainment hot spots across the state during the busy December and January holiday period, on top of extra enforcement usually undertaken by police during the festive season,” Police Minister, Neil Roberts, said.
“It is during this period that Queenslanders converge on entertainment areas en-masse to celebrate Christmas, the New Year and Australia Day.
“The party season is now over and the two-month policing blitz has concluded, but to claim the Bligh Government’s commitment to public safety in entertainment precincts across the state is over is rubbish,” he continued.
Roberts said the Bligh Government was also looking at the wider problem of alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour and its impact on the community with a Parliamentary Inquiry which is due to report later this year.
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