Police already planning for new year

David SalvaireGeraldton Guardian
Dist. Supt Mike Bell and Sen. Sgt Brad Bird.
Camera IconDist. Supt Mike Bell and Sen. Sgt Brad Bird. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, David Salvaire

Geraldton Police have thanked the community for their support during New Year’s Eve celebrations but say several avoidable incidents stretched resources during the busy period.

Geraldton Police Station’s officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Brad Bird said police were well-equipped to manage the disturbances.

“The start of the night was fantastic with a lot of engagement with the community and a lot of police officers in the licensed premises and on the foreshore,” Sen. Sgt Bird said.

“There was a big police contingent in high-vis conducting foot patrols.

“But about midnight we started to receive calls regarding a number of incidents.” Sen. Sgt Bird said police were called to a Rangeway property where an out-of-control party had spilled out onto the streets, resulting in several arrests and charges being laid.

Police said armed robberies were also an issue, with incidents in Mt Tarcoola and Bluff Point.

OIC Bird said Geraldton detectives were looking into the matter and hoped to make arrests in the coming days.

“The community was generally fantastic, they supported the police and people were quick to report incidences of antisocial behaviour,” he said.

“Our response teams and our officers were busy well into the day light hours and right through New Year’s Day and we attribute that mainly to alcohol.”

Mid West Gascoyne District Superintendent Mike Bell was leading foot patrols in Geraldton’s hotel precinct and said there were several alcohol-fuelled incidents.

He said while police were able to deal with issues as they arose, a lack of transport to take patrons away from licensed premises caused friction.

“When you get people who are intoxicated out in the streets they can get anxious when they’re waiting for transport and then issues arise,” Dist. Supt Bell said.

“This year we’ll be looking to see if there’s someone to provide a service that can filter people away from the licensed premises and avoid that friction.

“Generally the community was well behaved, certain people drank to success and there were a few issues but the resources were there so we were able to knock it on the head quickly.”

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