Safe night strategy starts
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.