THEY are not the fun police, they are the actual police.
And on New Year’s Eve their plan is not to ruin your night or stifle your celebrations.
But if you are misbehaving and interrupting everyone else’s good time, you best believe the police will be paying you a visit.
That’s the message from senior police as they prepare for a surge of revelers heading into the Newcastle and Stockton foreshores, the CBD, Beaumont Street and Darby Street to ring in the New Year on Monday night.
It’s the culmination of months of planning, coordinated by the Northern Region, that will come to a head, as uniformed and plain-clothes officers are dispatched throughout the city to ensure safety and stamp out any criminal, violent or anti-social behaviour.
As usual a high-visibility operation will be the major focus of police, with extra officers on the beat until well into Monday.
“We are not there to stifle anyone’s celebrations, our main focus is to make sure the community is safe,” Newcastle City Police District Acting Superintendent Steve Laksa said.
“Our other major focus is on any anti-social behaviour, people misbehaving.
“We’re not trying to interrupt those people who are trying to have a good time and watching the fireworks.
“The message is that people need to expect that if they do misbehave there will be consequences.”
After a relatively quiet holiday period, the police presence at the major party spots will be beefed up considerably on Monday night.
They will also be bolstered by the Operational Support Group, specialist police trained in public order and riot response, who will be working across the region and will be able to be deployed to quell any major incidents.
But police have stressed that as well as drinking and partying safely on New Year’s Eve, those celebrating shouldn’t make the mistake of getting behind the wheel while over the limit.
Police have been conducting Operation Safe Arrival since December 21 and have so far conducted more than 400,000 breath tests across the state. Police in the Hunter say they are consistently catching young people and p-platers just over the cusp of low-range drink driving, indicating many motorists are having a drink and running the risk. The road toll across NSW is 352 for 2018.
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