POLICE are happy with Victoria’s New Year’s Eve crowds at public events following a statewide operation to mark the start of 2019.
Uniform, plain clothes and specialist police were deployed to monitor crowd behaviour and maintain public order, deputy commissioner Shane Patton said, with the vast majority of people bringing the right attitude to their end-of-year celebrations.
“As always, there were a small number of people who did the wrong thing. Those people faced a firm response from police so they didn’t spoil the events for the broader community,” he said.
Statewide, police made 59 arrests in a state of over six million people, though police had refined their statistics to better track offending and not counting as many offences connected with public new years celebrations.
Provisional statistics for the night indicate there were:
- 37 arrests for drunk,
- 22 arrests for other offences, including behavioural, theft, and drug-related offending,
- 43 penalty infringement notices for traffic offences,
- 57 penalty infringement notices for other offences,
- 15 cautions were issued.
He said there was not a rise in the use of illegal fireworks, though it was a problem police encountered across the state every New Year’s Eve.
VIOLENT assaults have marred the the end of one year and the beginning of another in Bendigo.
Police working overnight responded to physical assaults including with weapons, a sexual assault and “numerous family violence incidents”, Bendigo sergeant Robert Walsh said.
“It was not a happy new year for a lot of people,” he said.
Two people were hospitalised, Sergeant Walsh said, with alcohol a factor in many of the incidents.
Police also responded to a car that drove into a pole.
The low-speed crash in Epsom left a man in his early 20s hospitalised.
Sergeant Walsh said police were investigating whether alcohol was involved.
“It appears that way at this stage,” he said.
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In other parts of central Victoria police had quieter evenings.
Leading Senior Constable Kerrie Davies said Castlemaine was a “very well behaved community”.
Maryborough had no drunks arrested and no other offences recorded, Acting Sergeant David Semmens said.
As day shift sergeants took over in Kyneton and Echuca they were hearing of few arrests.
Sergeant Jasmine Gregor said one person was arrested in Echuca after a nightclub assault but crowds partying in town and camping on the river had been largely well-behaved.
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Meanwhile, paramedics were called to more than 1000 emergency cases across Victoria in nine hours.
The busiest period was from midnight to 1am with 161 call outs.
New Year’s Eve Health Commander Ian Hunt said paramedics responded to a range of cases including intoxicated and drug affected revellers, burns, slips, trips and falls.
“Our workload built up gradually with the largest spike in calls coming from 12am to 2am when we responded to 324 emergency cases,” Mr Hunt said.
He was pleased very few cases were of a serious nature.
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