Cops continue festive clampdown

IT WAS a taste of things to come as police continue their crusade against bad behaviour on the Coffs Coast.

Local police caught a staggering 21 drink-drivers and arrested people after at least two brawls and charged another troublemaker for assaulting police during Operation Unite at the weekend.

Chief Inspector Ray Bell said police would maintain their high visibility clampdown throughout the festive period.

“The operation was successful in my eyes,” Mr Bell said.

“It was pleasing that we only detected one licence breach from our walk-throughs at licensed premises but what was disappointing was the number of drink-driving charges.

“How many times do drivers have to be told. You can expect a lot of breath tests at this time of year when we will be out in force and on the weekend alone we conducted more than 500.

“If you drink and drive, there’s an even stronger chance now you will be caught.”

Mr Bell said police were still investigating a brawl involving two groups of people at Woolgoolga on Saturday night.

The fracas had ended by the time police arrived but they have managed to identify a number of people involved.

Officers were called to another brawl at Sawtell the same night when two people were charged with affray.

Police laid several other charges at the weekend for assault and street offences and charged a woman with assaulting police when they were dispatched to a domestic dispute.

“Police are not going to stand by and be assaulted,” Mr Bell said.

Officers also undertook 50 licensed premises inspections in the area and detected only one licence breach.

Operation Unite was a clampdown on alcohol-related bad behaviour and drunken violence across Australia and New Zealand and was staged twice this year.

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