By Annette Shailer
NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, the Australasian spokesperson for Operation Unite, has officially launched the latest police blitz on drunken violence today (Sept 8).
Australia and New Zealand police will again unite for two-days of action against alcohol misuse, violence and anti-social behaviour this weekend (Sept 10-11).
Following last year’s Operation Unite, a strong and focused police presence will flood the streets of every Australian state and territory and across New Zealand targeting drunks, criminal and anti-social behaviour.
Operation Unite aims at changing Australia and New Zealand’s culture of binge drinking in public places and challenges the drinking public to take greater responsibility for their behaviour.
During the two days of Operation Unite, anyone who engages in violence and anti-social behaviour will be met with a no tolerance approach from police.
Commissioner Scipione said that police are committed to tackling the effects of alcohol misuse, but can’t do it alone.
“This large-scale, Australia and New Zealand wide operation aims to send a strong and clear message – police will not put up with alcohol-related violence, drunken behaviour and other related crime,” he said.
“This is an Australia and New Zealand wide problem. That is why police jurisdictions across both countries have come together to make a stand with Operation Unite.
“But, tackling this issue is not something that police can do alone. Police are looking for the community to take a stand and push for a change in our drinking culture and acceptable standards of behaviour.
“To truly address this issue, we must all say no to excessive drinking and drunken, violent and antisocial behaviour.
“What police want, and what I believe we all want is safe communities for everyone to enjoy at all times of the day and night.”
Alcohol-related crime is estimated to cost Australia $7.1 billion a year with $750 million alone spent on policing.
“People want to enjoy themselves – all we are asking is that you take responsibility for your own and your friends, family and workmates actions. Police too often have to take intoxicated people home or back to police cells because they are too drunk to remember where they live,” Scipione said.
“This operation is not about restricting choices and freedoms of the law abiding majority but about instilling in everyone a sense of personal responsibility. There is no fun in ending the night in a police cell or a hospital bed. Poor decision-making fuelled with alcohol can result in a life changing experience – usually for the worse.”
The police action will involve overt and covert licensing operations, random breath testing, mounted police and dog squad and extra police on patrol.
Crime Stoppers Victoria will also launch a new TV campaign tonight targeted at young people, which calls on youth to take action on alcohol-related violence by contacting the confidential service.
The ad features young people who are ‘over’ drunken violence and related crime, calling on other young people to dob in ‘losers’ to Crime Stoppers, confidentially if they wish.
To view the new commercial online, click here.