100 extra police for Australia Day

AN army of more than 100 extra officers have been called in to helpquell any unruly Australia Day behaviour across Newcastle as senior police refuse to forget the loutish violence which marred the city six years ago.

A well-preprared Newcastle City local area command will utilise specialist units including the dog squad, water police and detectives to assist the usual general duty patrols across the party precincts.

But traditional trouble spots, including parks where young and often drunk revellers have congregated in the past, will also be heavily patrolled.

Police have warned the public that alcohol free zones would be strictly enforced and a zero tolerance approach would continue throughout the day.

It comes as some senior police recall the ugly scenes in 2010, where large mobs of drunken children as young as 12turned the city into a huge boxing ring.

Hospital staff described the day as a“nightmare” and wereforced to take the extreme step of tyingsome teenagers to beds as they attempted to treat them.

“The strong message is to have a good time but have a good time responsibly,’’ Newcastle City duty officer Inspector Scott Parker said.

“Looking after our mates is a great Australian tradition and we should all be doing that on our national day.

“We will not be tolerating any anti-social behaviour, so enjoy the day and allow everyone else to enjoy it as well.’’

The extra 100 officers will join the command’s usual first-response teams to patrol the city and suburban areas.

Although the Honeysuckle precinct is expected to attract large crowds, police will be keeping a close eye on the trouble spots including King Edward Park, Empire Park, Dixon Park and other coastal parks and gardens where young revellers have traditionally congregated.

The region’s highway patrol officers will also have a high profile, with Australia Day being the final day in a month-long campaign which began before Christmas.

‘We do not want to stop people having a good time, but anyone who steps out of line can expect a tap on the shoulder,’’ Inspector Parker said.

“Don’tover-indulgein alcohol consumption.’’

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