Association Secretary takes to the citys violent streets

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                                                                            Association Secretary Greg Davies with Lord Mayor Robert Doyle,
                                                                                     Sergeant Brian Nolan and Channel Seven’s Peter Morris.

     Association Secretary takes
     to the city’s violent streets
     Late-night violence and anti-social behaviour continues to be a major problem
     in Melbourne’s CBD. In the early hours of one Saturday morning in April, Police
     Association Secretary Greg Davies, joined by Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle
     and a Channel 7 news crew, took to the streets to take a firsthand look at our city’s
     violent streets.

          he late-night tour was             182,000 hours were spent patrolling.        penalties for venues who fail
          prompted by more shocking            These disturbing figures are              to comply with liquor licensing
          reports of drunken violence in     courtesy of our State Government            rules. Greg said that rouge
     Melbourne’s popular night spots.        who continues to ignore the police          establishments that flout their
     Only days before, a man’s thumb         resourcing crisis, spending less            licensing conditions need to be
     was severed outside a nightclub in      on police than any other state             “red-carded”. This follows Lord
     a vicious brawl involving up to 20      or territory in the country and             Mayor Robert Doyle’s controversial
     people. Days earlier, a man was         providing the lowest police to              proposal to trial a ‘red-card’
     struck with a meat cleaver in an        population ratio in Australia.              system for troublesome patrons,
     unprovoked daylight attack.                Operation Safe Streets which             who would first be warned of bad
       The tour of Melbourne’s streets       provided an extra 150 police to the         behaviour and then evicted from
     confirmed that violence of this         city at weekends was a welcome              the venue.
     kind is thriving in a city that lacks   initiative, yet only a temporary               Greg also noticed a worrying
     an adequate and visible police          measure. Solutions such as overtime         number of young teenagers
     presence. A recent Herald Sun           are not an adequate or sustainable          roaming the city streets in the early
     report revealed that while violent      solution to this problem. Overtime          hours of Saturday morning. This
     crime has soared by 27 per cent in      is a band-aid measure that will only        highlighted the need for parents
     the past year, police patrols have      cause police to become stressed and         to take greater responsibility for
     dropped. Data received under            burnt-out. It is clear that Melbourne       their children’s safety and also
     Freedom on Information showed           requires a genuine and permanent            reinforced the tough job that police
     that in 2002, 285,000 hours             boost to police numbers.                    do to protect all members of the
     were spent patrolling inner-city           Greg Davies’ night tour also             community who visit the CBD
     Melbourne, while in 2008, only          highlighted the need for tougher            on the weekend.

     May 2009 The Police Association Journal                                                       

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