Safe night strat­egy starts

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

WHIT­SUN­DAY Po­lice were faced with one of the sce­nar­ios that sparked the State Gov­ern­ment’s new $44.5mil­lion Safe Night Out Strat­egy, when a 20-year-old woman was hit by a 25year-old New South Wales man, in the Air­lie Beach CBD, at 4.30am on Fri­day.

Of­fi­cer in Charge of the Whit­sun­day Po­lice Sta­tion, Act­ing Se­nior Sergeant, Brad Teys, said while there were no se­ri­ous in­juries, the man re­mained in cus­tody and had been charged with As­sault Oc­ca­sion­ing Bod­ily Harm (AOBH).

Just 15 hours later, po­lice from the drug test­ing unit and sta­tions at Townsville, Rock­hamp­ton, Proser­pine and Whit­sun­day, em­barked on their first Safe Night Out op­er­a­tion at the new ‘Safe Night Precinct’ cov­er­ing Air­lie Beach.

Act. Snr Sgt Teys said ‘Op­er­a­tion Mackay Phos­pho­rous’ in­volved 22 of­fi­cers from the as­sorted sta­tions and in­cluded the breath test­ing of all driv­ers en­ter­ing the Safe Night Precinct, as well as a num­ber of drug tests.

A to­tal of 1433 breath tests were con­ducted and 30 traf­fic in­fringe­ment no­tices is­sued on Fri­day night.

Also on Fri­day there were seven ar- rests on 12 charges, in­clud­ing four ar­rests for drink-driv­ing and two for other traf­fic of­fences.

Three peo­ple tested pos­i­tive for drugs, in­clud­ing two for ec­stasy and one for cannabis.

Po­lice is­sued 10, 10-day ban­ning no­tices, with one ex­ten­sion made for three months.

Act. Snr Sgt Teys said over­all, Op­er­a­tion Mackay Phos­pho­rous was “100 per cent suc­cess­ful”.

“Fri­day night was a traf­fic op­er­a­tion in­volv­ing mul­ti­ple agen­cies and Satur­day night was [about] pub­lic or­der,” he said.

“The ini­tial tar­get was to breath test all ve­hi­cles that en­tered the safe night precinct of Air­lie Beach and that was achieved.”

Whit­sun­day MP Ja­son Costi­gan said he was proud of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Safe Night Precincts in Air­lie Beach and Mackay, which he de­scribed as “a great out­come for all con­cerned”.

“After all, Queens­land now has Aus­tralia’s most com­pre­hen­sive re­sponse to al­co­hol-fu­elled vi­o­lence – all thanks to ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion,” he said.

LOCK DOWN: Se­nior Con­sta­ble Sean Don­nelly from the Townsville Road Polic­ing unit was one of a num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers brought into Air­lie Beach for last week­end's in­au­gu­ral Safe Night Out op­er­a­tion.

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