In Law & Order

Operation Unite Commander, Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli

New South Wales Police Force

NSW Police charge 333 people on first night of ‘Operation Unite’

Police have laid charges against more than:

  • 300 people state-wide,
  • Detected 228 licensing breaches,
  • Seized 1.7 litres of an illicit drug

during the first night of Operation Unite.

Operation Unite Commander, Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli, said results so far showed 333 people were charged with 516 offences ranging from assault, affray, to drug possession and robbery.

“Police charged 96 people with assault, and this included a man charged over the assault of a police officer who we will allege was ‘king hit’ at Ryde Police Station.” Assistant Commissioner Mennilli said.

“Police have also charged 15 people with affray and a further 17 people after knives were allegedly found in their possession.”

“In addition, 26 charges of stealing have been laid and 61 people have been charged with drug possession and/or supply offences.”

“Of significant concern to my team was the 176 people detected drink-driving. There were also 15 disqualified drivers detected.”

“I find it hard to believe that despite all the messages police have been sending to the community, that this many people could act so irresponsibly: to either drink and drive, to hit people and think they get away with it, or to carry a weapon.” Assistant Commissioner Mennilli said.

Operation Unite officers allegedly located 1.7 litres of the drug Gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL) after stopping and searching a man acting suspiciously in Little Oxford Street at Darlinghurst about 9.30pm.

The 24-year-old Italian National, in Australia on a student visa, was arrested and charged with supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and refused bail to appear in Parramatta Bail Court today.

Assistant Commissioner Mennilli described the assault of the police officer at Ryde as being cowardly.

“This is exactly the type of incident which has made police so determined to crackdown on drunken violence.” Assistant Commissioner Mennilli said.

“The officer was left with a fractured nose and possible neck injuries.”

A 38-year-old Carlingford man will appear in Parramatta Bail Court this morning charged over the attack, which led to the constable being admitted to Ryde Hospital.

The alleged offender had been in custody over an assault on a patron at a registered club at Eastwood, in Sydney’s north, earlier in the night.

It’s expected the injured officer, aged in his mid to late 20s, will undergo further tests at Royal North Shore Hospital this morning.

Assistant Commissioner Mennilli said three karaoke bars in the Sydney CBD voluntarily closed after they were found to be in breach of their licence.

“They were among 228 licensing breaches detected by officers throughout the night, as well as more than 300 security breaches.”

“The security breaches ranged from officers incorrectly displaying their registered number to being with proper registration at all.” Assistant Commissioner Mennilli said.

“Most people appeared to get the message that police would not be tolerating alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour.”

“There’s no question that the strong police presence contributed to a less violent evening.”

Police attached to Operation Unite also responded within a minute to reports of an attempted armed robbery at a western Sydney pub overnight.

Two teenagers, who tried to hold up the Granville pub with a knife and replica gun about 10pm, were arrested at the scene.

The alleged offenders were taken to Parramatta Police Station and are assisting officers with their inquiries.

Nearly 1,300 extra Police were deployed across the state as part of Operation Unite. Police breath-tested 20,131 drivers.

During the first night of the operation, Police made numerous drug detections and three karaoke bars voluntarily closed in central Sydney after breaches of their licensing laws were detected.

In other incidents, police attached to Operation Unite responded to reports of an attempted armed robbery at a hotel in Good Street at Granville about 10pm. Two teenagers aged 17 and 18 remain in police custody after they were disarmed of a knife and replica handgun which they used to allegedly demand money from staff.

In Deniliquin a man was arrested and charged after he allegedly assaulted another man outside a hotel in Hay. The man was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was refused bail and held in custody overnight.

At West Wyalong a woman was refused service about 11pm yesterday, allegedly due to her level of intoxication. Police will allege she then smashed the front window of the hotel with her right fist. She is currently being treated at Wagga Wagga Hospital for injuries to her right forearm. Police intend to issue her with a Future Court Attendance Notice for the offence of malicious damage and fail to quit.

At Bankstown six people were arrested and charged with affray, offensive conduct, and assault following a fight at a hotel in Milperra overnight.

Operation Unite continues across Australia and New Zealand tonight and will conclude at 6am tomorrow (Sunday 13 December).

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