Police show friendly face for New Year
About 500,000 people are expected in the city to celebrate New Year's Eve, with police determined to avoid more of the violence that has blighted the holiday period.PT1M43S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2c2cx 620 349 December 31, 2012
About 500,000 people are expected in the city to celebrate New Year's Eve on Monday night, with police determined to avoid more of the violence that has blighted the holiday period so far.
Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp said he did not expect the 420 police rostered in the city to face significant problems, and said there were no longer New Year trouble hotspots across the state.
- How are you celebrating New Year's Eve? Email us your pictures
Coastal towns and roads can also expect a strong police presence, as police try to ensure Victoria's lowest road toll on record does not increase on the final day of the year. The Victorian holiday road toll stands at eight.
Mr Crisp said a brawl involving 10 men in Rye on Monday morning was a timely reminder of the importance of looking out for mates and having a plan to safely enjoy New Year's Eve. Last Thursday, a man was glassed in St Kilda. A man has been charged in relation to that incident.
"It's a bit like having a designated driver, someone should stay sober," Mr Crisp said. "Someone should hold the rest of the group to account.
"If you see your mate starting to misbehave, starting to use inappropriate language, starting to get pushy with someone, then pull them up, tell them enough's enough, because what we saw last night is a serious incident."
Mr Crisp said police would treat revellers fairly, but would not hesitate to hand out fines of more than $700 to drunken louts.
"You will see a friendly face, you will see police treating you very very fairly. But if you don't respond to that friendly face, that fair attitude, you will be dealt with firmly.
"There is every likelihood you will be locked up, given a ticket, and it will make it a very expensive night."
Mr Crisp said that while extra police were being deployed at towns along the coast from Lakes Entrance to Portland, areas such as Phillip Island no longer had the "significant problems" it did a few years ago.
Acting Premier Peter Ryan implored those who were driving during the holiday period to make the right choices about fatigue, drinking and speed.
Mr Ryan said recording 278 road fatalities, the lowest number since records were started in 1952, was an achievement that should be put into context.
He said that while the number was far lower than the 1071 people who died in 1970, it was still far too many.
"In my electorate [Gippsland South] we have 10, maybe 20 towns of less than 278 people," Mr Ryan said.
"I can't help but think the concept of having one of those towns being absolutely wiped out in a year because of road deaths is something completely unacceptable for us in Victoria."