‘Operation Unite’ Police Charge 307 People During Night Of Alcohol-Fuelled Violence
New South Wales (NSW) Police have expressed their disgust at the level of alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour that led to 307 arrests during ‘Operation Unite’.
More than 1,400 extra Police were deployed across the state during the two-day blitz on alcohol-related violence and other crime.
Operation Unite Commander, Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli, said while there is no doubt the extra Police presence prevented a greater number of booze-fuelled assaults and complaints of malicious damage, many people ignored the very public warnings.
“On Friday night alone, we made more than 330 arrests, caught 176 people drink-driving and laid more than 500 charges.” Assistant Commissioner Mennilli said.
“Yet instead of heeding the message last night and curbing their drinking habits, many people were still hell-bent on writing themselves off and hurting others.”
“From 1am today, we had a large series of unrelated brawls and assaults occur within the Sydney CBD, including a wild melee involving around a dozen men of Middle Eastern appearance opposite the George Street cinema strip, and a number of offenders were arrested.”
“Another brawl involving around 20 males broke out about 2.30am at Darling Harbour, resulting in further arrests.”
“About 7pm last night, a senior constable was head-butted at a Rosehill hotel when trying to move on post-race revellers.”Assistant Commissioner Mennilli said.
“It’s just staggering…last night we had reports of six men bashing another man in the centre of the city, another man naked at The Rocks allegedly attempting to strangle his partner, a bus inspector targeted with a laser pointer and a serious glassing in a pub at Ultimo.”
“Bottles were thrown randomly at vehicles, male and female youths were involved in a large street brawl at Woolloomooloo while two teenage girls were arrested over an assault and robbery in Hyde Park.”
On the second night of Operation Unite in NSW, there were 307 arrests, 509 charges laid and 198 motorists nabbed for drink-driving.
“We were out there making arrests as soon as we were deployed yesterday, before the sun went down.”
“Many people just don’t know when they’ve had enough and they put themselves and others in harm’s way.”
“During this operation my officers were spat on, abused and king-hit.” Assistant Commissioner Mennilli said.
“Two officers were hospitalised on the first night of the operation while clearing the streets of drunken offenders and protecting the community. One of the officers suffered a broken nose.”
“I am extremely proud of the courageous efforts of all the officers, who never took a backward step when confronted by violent thugs.”
“What is really distressing is the number of underage people congregating in public, in parks and the like, with the sole purpose of drinking themselves into a stupor.”
“We’re sick of this booze-till-you-drop culture and so is the public.” Assistant Commissioner Mennilli said.
“This operation is a wake-up call for all Australians…there’s no point saying sorry when you sober up, the damage is done…damage to yourself and innocent others.” Assistant Commissioner Mennelli said.
In total over two days, 640 people were arrested, 1,025 charges laid and 374 drink-drivers caught during 48,162 breath-tests.
In addition to extra uniformed and plain clothes patrols, most of the force’s specialist commands were involved in the operation including drug detection dogs, Mounted Police, Regional Enforcement Squads, Alcohol Licensing Enforcement Command officers, Operational Support Group (OSG) Police and Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS) units.
The crackdown was co-ordinated at the Police Operations Centre where Assistant Commissioner Mennilli and other senior Police witnessed many incidents occurring “live” on more than 80 CBD surveillance cameras.
“There’s no point blaming Police or others for your criminal or drunken behaviour.”
“You have to answer for your own actions.” Assistant Commissioner Mennelli said.
“Avoid making a mistake that could ruin your life or the lives of others by taking responsibility for your actions. There’s no excuse for this sort of criminality and as far as the Police are concerned, the gloves are off.”
“As this operation has shown we’re not going to let drunken thugs terrorise the streets of our towns and cities.”Assistant Commissioner Mennilli said.
At a Sunday morning media conference Police Minister Michael Daley and Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens both condemned the violence and called for people to take control of what they are doing.