COVID-complacency concerns for regional NSW police during Operation Pariac

More than 100 licensing breaches have been detected during inspections at more than 1000 licensed venues as part of a high-visibility operation targeting alcohol-related crime and COVID-Safety compliance across regional NSW.

Police from the Northern, Southern and Western Regions conducted Operation Pariac on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 June 2021, with general duties officers assisted by specialist licencing police to target alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour both inside and around licensed premises.

In 2020, Operation Pariac also included a focus on COVID-Safety compliance for both licensees and patrons. While NSW COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, officers again worked along with venues and licensees to ensure all relevant restrictions were adhered to, and all patrons could celebrate in a safe environment. Officers conducted inspections to ensure venues and patrons were aware of their responsibilities to maintain a COVID-safe environment as restrictions continue to ease.

During the operation;

  • 55 people were arrested, and 76 charges were laid for offences including assault, resist arrest, drive under the influence
  • 1011 business inspections were conducted
  • 102 breaches were detected (including 76 Liquor breaches and 26 Gaming breaches), with 89 infringements issued – including 16 traffic infringements. Follow up inquiries are continuing with several venues
  • 18 COVID-19 related beaches were identified
  • 579 RSA Competency Card and 158 security licence checks were undertaken, and
  • 1868 RBTs conducted and 15 RDTs

Items of significance include:

  • About 7.20pm on Saturday 12 June, officers from The Hume Police District conducted a vehicle stop on Sloane Street, Goulburn, for the purpose of a random breath test. Police spoke with the 75-year-old male driver, before conducting a roadside breath test which returned a positive result. He was arrested and taken to Goulburn Police Station where he underwent a secondary breath analysis which allegedly returned a positive reading of 0.253. He was charged with high-range PCA and is due to face court on Wednesday 7 July. His license was also suspended.
  • About 2.30pm on Saturday 12 June, officers attached to the Central West Police District – assisted by the Police Dog Unit – were undertaking taskings in the Parkes area and visiting several licensed venues. During the overt operation, two persons were charged with possess prohibited drug, two were issued cannabis cautions, and four licensees were issued infringements relating to breaches of the Liquor and Gaming Act.
  • Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District were conducting proactive patrols within the Maitland area and attended a licensed premises about 9.30pm on Saturday 12 June. Police will allege that several patrons had not signed in using the NSW Health QR code check-in process. Inquiries into the alleged breaches are ongoing.

Operation Pariac Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Chad Gillies, said while patrons and licensees behaved sensibly over the long weekend, he is concerned about the complacency with COVID-compliance and required procedures which are still in place under the Public Health Orders.

“We in NSW need to be conscious that the pandemic is not yet over – as such, we must maintain all relevant safety precautions, including social distancing, good hygiene and checking into venues using the NSW Health QR codes via the Service NSW app,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Gillies said.

“If you do not have a smartphone, it is a requirement of all venues to have a manual check-in option. These details are required in the event of contact tracers needing to identify any persons who have been at a venue during a certain time period.

“We have been doing these things for more than a year now, it has become common practice to check-in wherever we go – whether it be a licensed venue or not. It’s on the patrons, licensees and staff members to ensure all procedures are followed so we can continue to live in a COVID-Safe way.

“Licensing police will be following up with those venues who are not abiding by the Liquor and Gaming Act to ensure travelling through Regional NSW is safe and enjoyable for all,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Gillies said.

REGION BREAKDOWN

Northern:

Arrests – 21

Charges – 31

Business inspections – 388

Liquor and Gaming infringements – 14

Move on directions – 6

COVID-19 related warnings – 13

RBT conducted – 356

Southern:

Arrests – 18

Charges – 24

Business inspections – 355

Liquor and Gaming infringements – 22

Move on directions – 7

COVID-19 related warnings – 5

Possess/supply drug – 7

RBT conducted – 634

PCA – 3

Western:

Arrests – 16

Charges – 21

Business inspections – 268

Liquor and Gaming infringements – 37

Move on directions – 2

COVID-19 related warnings – 0

Possess/supply drug – 5

RBT conducted – 878

PCA – 16

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.