Police praise Australia Day revellers
Police across the West Pilbara reported no arrests during Australia Day celebrations on what they said was an unusually quiet national holiday last Tuesday.
Stations in the Shires of Ashburton and Exmouth had no reported incidents, while the small number of arrests Karratha and Roebourne forces made were unrelated to the Australia Day festivities.
Karratha police officer-incharge Geoff Cramp said they had seen no major trouble on patrol at local licensed premises and the Leisureplex.
“Everyone was very wellbehaved and we had no significant incidents,” he said.
“Our thanks to the community for their efforts.”
It came as a relief for Karratha police after a difficult Australia Day last year, when there was an assault at the Dampier Mermaid Hotel that left a 54-year-old man in a coma.
He later died from his injuries, and the alleged offender is appearing before the WA Supreme Court charged with assault occasioning death.
Roebourne police officer-incharge Gemma Hennigan said they had made no arrests for antisocial behaviour in their patrols around town, where there were few people around.
“Australia Day is the busiest day for police, especially in the metro area,” she said. “It’s busier than New Year’s Eve.
“So (no arrests) is pretty unheard of for Australia Day.”
Police in Onslow, Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Exmouth also reported well-behaved crowds and no arrests.
Senior Constable Ian Cliffe said Pilbara traffic police had caught a small number of people driving at excessive speeds and under the influence, who were penalised with infringements or court summonses, “but nothing out of the ordinary”.
“Generally it was a good day, and the vast majority of people did the right thing,” he said.
Sen. Sgt Cramp said improved crowd behaviour on Australia Day was a result of better public awareness.
“I think people are becoming a lot more responsible on Australia Day,” he said. “They’ve got events to attend and they were well-managed. I think the message has got through.”