Thousands of police across Victoria have worked around the clock, keeping a close eye on New Year’s Eve celebrations to ensure the community could bring in the new year safely.
Uniform, plain clothes and specialist police saturated the CBD to monitor crowd behaviour and maintain public order as hundreds of thousands of people gathered to watch the fireworks.
A significant police presence was also fielded at suburban and regional celebrations right across the state.
Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said he was pleased to see the majority of Victorians welcome 2020 responsibly and respectfully in their local community and at holiday destinations.
“New Year’s Eve is our biggest state-wide policing operation, with thousands of officers working hard at all hours of the day and night to keep the community safe,” DC Patton said.
“Overwhelmingly our police saw great behaviour by crowds overnight, both in the CBD and at suburban and regional community celebrations, with people taking responsibility for their own behaviour and looking out for the mates.
“There were a small number of people who did the wrong thing. Those people faced a swift and firm response from police so the fun wasn’t spoiled for the broader community.”
As part of the New Year’s Eve operation across the state, police made 132 arrests, including 74 for drunk.
Operation Omni was activated in the CBD and surrounds, providing officers with additional search powers under the Control of Weapons Act.
Officers conducted 682 weapon searches which resulted in four arrests.
Provisional statistics for the night indicate there were also:
• 16 reported assaults, resulting in the arrest of 12 people
• 46 arrests for other offences including:
o 6 robbery offences
o 31 drug offences
o 9 weapon offences
• 2529 preliminary breath tests conducted and 180 penalty infringement notices for traffic offences.