Victoria Police said they will saturate New Year’s Eve hotspots across Melbourne and regional areas, as Victorians prepare to ring in 2019.
Around 350,000 people are expected to flock to Melbourne’s CBD to watch more than 14 tonnes of fireworks light up the skyline during the two displays at 9.30pm and midnight.
And you can expect big crowds at Cowes, Inverloch and Coronet Bay at 9.30pm as well as these three towns host family fireworks displays.
Uniform and plain clothes police will be carrying out extra patrols throughout the night, targeting anti-social behaviour, violence and drink and drug driving.Officers working in the $15 million state-of-the-art 24-7 Monitoring and Assessment Centre, funded by the Andrews Labor Government, will keep watch over the CBD and provide up-to-date information to officers on the ground.
Police will be using specialist squads where needed, including the water police, mounted branch, operations response unit, public order response team and air wing. Transit police and Protective Services Officers will be deployed on trains and at train stations around Melbourne and key regional hubs to ensure everyone gets to and from their destination safely.
Public transport will be free on all trams, trains, V/Line services and buses between 6pm New Year’s Eve until 6am New Year’s Day, allowing revellers to get home quicker and safer.Emergency services will be on alert across party hotspots in Melbourne, regional towns and coastal areas. There will also be more police out on the beat across regional Victoria – with resources being deployed where they’re needed most – at major events, entertainment areas, around public transport hubs and regional parks and beaches.
Police in marked and unmarked vehicles will also be out in full force as part of ‘Operation Roadwise’, targeting motorists who are drug and alcohol affected, speeding, driving dangerously, on their phones or distracted.
“New Year’s Eve is a special time to celebrate with friends and family, but it’s important to do so responsibly and tolook out for each other,” said
Premier Daniel Andrews.
“Our dedicated police officers, emergency services workers and public transport staff are giving up their night to make sure everyone else enjoys theirs safely – remember to treat them with the respect they deserve.”
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville had a similar message.
“Police will have a highly visible presence throughout the CBD and party hotspots – targeting those who try to ruin other revellers’ celebrations with anti-social or violent behaviour.”
“We won’t tolerate violence against our hardworking emergency services professionals who are trying to keep us safe. Anyone who lashes out will face the full force of the law.”