Police warning to revellers in CBD

BENDIGO police have warned revellers heading out for end-of-year social celebrations this weekend that anti-social behaviour and alcohol misuse would not be tolerated.

Police will saturate the streets of Bendigo as part of Operation Unite from 6pm on Friday to 6am on Saturday and again from 6pm on Saturday to 6am on Sunday.

Bendigo Police Acting Superintendent Brad Dixon said people could still celebrate but should do so safely.

"With warmer weather there are more people heading out to pubs and drinking," he said.

"We will have a low tolerance for anyone engaging in alcohol-related violence.

"We will have every available police officer from Bendigo patrolling the CBD to ensure everyone can enjoy themselves safely and free from violence."

Acting Superintendent Dixon said Bendigo was at a higher risk of alcohol-related violence because it was a regional centre with a high population.

This is the seventh year Victoria Police has teamed up with police jurisdictions across Australia and New Zealand to target alcohol-related violence as part of Operation Unite.

Operation Unite commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Rick Nugent, said police were cracking down during a period when alcohol consumption generally increased.

“It is the intention of some people to drink purely to get drunk," he said.

"People drink too much and don’t take responsibility for their actions. 

"This can lead to reckless behaviour that puts the safety of themselves and those around them at risk."

Acting Assistant Commissioner Nugent said alcohol misuse, violence and anti-social behaviour were issues that impacted on the whole community.

This is not just about a weekend operation," he said.

"Police and emergency services are out every weekend dealing with drunken and anti-social behaviour.

“We all have a role to play in changing the unacceptable behaviour that is a result of a culture where drinking to excess is accepted and encouraged.

“By all means go out and have a good time, but drink in moderation."

As part of the operation in December last year, police arrested more than 171 people, checked 630 licensed venues and detected 26 licence breaches.

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