Police out in force this weekend

POLICE will hit Ballarat streets this weekend as they crack down on anti-social behaviour.

Tomorrow and Saturday nights police will be out in force as part of a statewide operation.

Ballarat Superintendent Andrew Allen said Operation Unite would result in more police out on the streets looking to stop trouble before it starts.

The operation will hit Ballarat's CBD, with Superintendent Allen recommending everyone who heads out should nominate a designated driver to keep an eye on mates. 

"The biggest concern is people pre-loading, people drinking before they go out, and arriving in the entertainment precinct already effected by alcohol," he said. 

"I think there is a culture of young people drinking to get drunk and there is a culture of people believing if they are able to move around in a licensed precinct they don't have any responsibilities whether it being crossing the roads or looking after their mates and they do need to take responsibility for their actions."

Superintendent Allen said there would be plain-clothed and undercover police, as well the strong showing of uniformed officers. 

"We have a very strong liquor accord and all the licensed venue operators understand their obligations in responsible serving of alcohol," he said. 

"We will certainly be visiting licensed venues over the two nights of the operation and speaking to people then. 

"If we detect any offences being committed on any licensed premises then we will certainly be taking action."

The operation won't just tackle alcohol fuelled problems according to Superintendent Allen, who said police would also be on the lookout for drug related offences.

"Clearly there is a bit of a blend there, from time to time one might lead to the other," he said. "We will certainly be out on the roads checking for both drugs and alcohol. 

"By all means go out and enjoy yourself but don't impinge on other's Friday or Saturday night." 

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