Ebene News – UA – Diners take to city streets as police search powers are stepped up for New Years Eve

Police will be closing some city streets to deal with an increase in alfresco dining in Melbourne this New Year’s Eve, as officers will be given additional powers to Search for revelers for weapons in high risk coastal areas of Victoria

The crackdown on illegal fireworks will also feature high on the force’s radar, as much of the state prepares to celebrate New Years Eve without government-funded fireworks or dance floors crowded due to coronavirus restrictions

Melbourne Mayor Sally Capp, right, outlines plans for New Years Eve with Victoria Deputy Police Commissioner Luke Cornelius and Police Minister Lisa Neville on WednesdayCredit: Chris Hopkins

Victoria’s Deputy Police Commissioner Luke Cornelius said the public could expect to see thousands of frontline officers on patrol, including at popular holiday destinations, as Victorians are preparing to send 2020

“The Victorians have shown how resilient they are this year, and we look forward to bringing the new year safely with the community of our towns, villages, coasts and popular vacation destinations,” he said. he declared

“There will be a strong and dedicated police presence throughout the state to ensure that the celebrations are safe and that those who make it dangerous or harm others are held to account”

M Cornelius said police would be granted additional search powers under the Gun Control Act to search people suspected of carrying guns in designated areas, including Melbourne’s central business district, the foreshore from St Kilda, the Mornington Peninsula, the Surf Coast and Phillip Island

Specialist squads including the Air Wing, Dog Squad, Public Order Response Team, Mounted Branch and Water Police will also be called in to support the Police patrols with Mobile Protective Services (OPS) officers on trains and trams and at stations around Melbourne and key areas of the state including Geelong, Ballarat, Frankston, Bendigo and Traralgon

M Cornelius said that with no fireworks in the CBD this year, police were “very keen to discourage large crowds” from forming on the city streets

“We will have a significant, visible and active presence, not only here in the city, but also on the beaches, around the bay and pushing on the Great Ocean Road,” he said

“We will take the opportunity, if necessary, to take action in the event of gross breaches of [the director of health] instructions. We will fine people”

Victorians should prepare for road closures, with streets closed in Melbourne CBD, Southbank and some suburban and regional areas to allow for more alfresco dining where public celebrations take place, said the senior officer

The state government has urged Melburnians not to enter the CBD unless they have booked a room, with a “very strong police presence” reported on the streets of the city

“Anyone planning to come to a town, town or party anywhere in the state to cause trouble – we advise you not to do so You will be arrested and held to account” said M Cornelius

“Make sure you plan ahead and figure out how you’re going to get to and back from your destination – it would be devastating to think that someone might not arrive in 2021 because of a bad decision made on New Year’s Eve “

Melbourne’s central business district will be divided into 11 districts, with traffic blocked and diners spilling out onto the roads and alleys for New Years Eve and New Years’ Day

Melbourne Mayor Sally Capp said tickets were still available for the city’s street party celebrations and it was a chance for people to support the city’s hospitality industry Typically 400,000 people flood the CBD for New Year’s Eve fireworks

“We ask everyone for their cooperation so that we have a safe New Years Eve and can continue in 2021 on the great job of removing the virus,” Cr Capp said

“We want people to celebrate It’s natural and understandable at the end of a difficult year

“You can have family celebrations… it takes the pressure off the feeling that crowds are gathering in large numbers and the pressure on all of our systems”

Police Minister Lisa Neville said it was always important for people to heed the remaining coronavirus restrictions on gatherings and social distancing guidelines

“We’ve done some tough jobs this year, so we can’t risk the work we’ve been doing this New Years Eve bringing together, breaking the rules,” Ms Neville said

“The health advice is clear: only come to the CBD if you have a restaurant reservation, do not enter or walk around the CBD, do not hang out in large groups”

Ms Neville said it was also important for Victorians to exercise caution when traveling by car, with six fatalities on the roads during Christmas time

“Don’t be tempted to drink and drive, don’t be tempted to use drugs, don’t be tempted to speed up on our roads,” Ms. Neville said

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Erin covers crime for The Age Most recently, she was a police reporter for announcer Geelong

Ashleigh McMillan is a breaking reporter for The Age Got a story? Write to me at unmcmillan @ theagecomau

New Years Eve, CBD, Victoria

Ebene News – UA – Diners take to city streets as police search powers are stepped up for New Years Eve New Year

Source: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/diners-to-take-over-city-streets-as-police-search-powers-boosted-for-new-year-s-eve-20201230-p56qte.html