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Police praise partygoers as arrests for drunkenness drop

Victorian police have praised New Year's revellers for their behaviour, despite making 356 arrests across the state last night.

As part of Operation New Year's Eve, police arrested 240 people for drunkenness, including 39 in Melbourne's CBD. There were 182 assaults across the state, 17 of which happened in the city.

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Police arrest 240 drunk revellers

Police praise good behaviour over New Year's Eve despite the arrest of 240 people for being drunk.

Fifty-five drink-drivers were detected.

Deputy Commissioner Tim Cartwright said that overall it was "quite a pleasing outcome across the state".

"More and more, we're seeing New Year's Eve look[ing] like a family event rather than an event to celebrate alcohol consumption.

"When you look back two years ago, we arrested 400 people for drunkenness. Last night it was 240 drunk. Still too many but it's good to see we've got some improvement."


He said the stabbing of an 18-year-old man on the Lorne foreshore was the most serious offence overnight.

He said much of the violence had been fuelled by alcohol.

"We always seem to associate drunkenness with violence in Victoria, unfortunately, so many of the drunks were violent.

"There are big fines now – well over $500 on-the-spot fines for first-time offences – so there's some big deterrents there. And we've got big penalties in a lot of places for carrying open alcohol containers."

He said police were still investigating the Lorne stabbing, with the 18-year-old man in a stable condition at The Alfred hospital.

Deputy Commissioner Cartwright said illegal fireworks were a continuing concern, with a 22-year-old man admitted to The Alfred after an explosive detonated in his hand at Mount Waverley.

"Unfortunately, we've had several incidences over the last couple of weeks of people getting getting hold of commercial fireworks or letting them go and doing injury to themselves or property.

"It's illegal ... there are dangerous consequences, not just to the individual who's stupid enough to try and ignite the fireworks, but in terms of fire and risks to others."

He said the man was likely to be charged with possession of fireworks without a permit.

"Some of these are quite large pyrotechnics so they're serious fireworks: we're not talking about crackers, we're talking about real explosives."

Police visited 860 licensed premises, issuing 31 banning notices.

The previous New Year's Eve, 332 people were arrested, including 237 for drunkenness and 66 drink drivers.