By Ian Neubauer

Victoria Police is scheduled to hold a press conference in Melbourne today (November 17) to publicise the immediate results of radical new strategies to tackle alcohol-related violence in the CBD.

Victorian assistant police commissioner for the Melbourne CBD, Gary Jamieson, will present figures relating to the Safe Street Taskforce and other new initiatives rolled out over the weekend.

They include the addition of five Hummer police patrol vehicles and a ‘time-out’ zone on the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets that allows revellers to sober up and avoid possible arrest for being drunk and disorderly.

Victorian Premier John Brumby has also committed an additional $11 million to provide 150 more police in the CBD during peak drinking periods.

The new initiatives follow a concession by Premier Brumby that the unpopular 2:00am lockout had failed because of the large number of venues that had obtained exemptions through the courts.

In related news, the Police Association of Victoria said it would press for the state to give police powers to summarily shut down unruly pubs and clubs at the drop of a hat.

Police Association spokesperson, Greg Davies, told the ABC that Melbourne could learn from the success of New York’s nightclub squads, where targeted closures and sweeps are believed to have substantially impacted on alcohol-related violence.

“If there are powers there that allow police to shut down a place if there is a significant level of trouble there, then business and people are going to mind what they do a little more than they perhaps are now,” Davies said.

The plan would require an additional 100 new officers in addition to the 150 deployed last weekend.

The Police Association is an independent body representing the professional and welfare interests of police and has no jurisdiction in areas of law or regulation.

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The Shout Team

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