Police will blitz area on Oz day

ONE of the biggest police blitzes of the year on the Coffs Coast swings into gear on Australia Day.

All available police resources will be on hand to tackle alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour, just as they did on new year’s eve.

The particular focus will be the 24 parks and reserves across the region, which have been declared off limits for alcohol.

“We’re preparing to police Australia Day as we have over the past couple of years, when we will have a significant amount of staff rostered on throughout the day and night,” said Coffs/Clarence local area commander, Superintendent Mark Holahan.

“Over the last number of years we have been disappointed with some people, particularly their alcohol-related behaviour, where we’ve seen a large number of arrests.

“We’ve worked closely with Coffs Harbour City Council to have those parks and reserves declared alcohol-free across the local government area for Australia Day.”

Mr Holahan said those zones had worked well on new year’s eve when there had been a significant drop in arrests compared to previous years.

“We hope this strategy on Australia Day will have the same impact,” he said.

“For those people who seek to disregard alcohol-free areas, police will adopt a strong stance and will have powers to tip alcohol out and remove the alcohol from people who try to take it into these areas.”

Mr Holahan said police were not aware of any potential problems brewing, but they had the ability to quickly move in at the first sign of trouble before it spread.

Highway patrol police will also be out in force to target drink and drug-driving, speeding, fatigue and the non-wearing of seatbelts.

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