ONE of Ballarat’s biggest police crackdowns for 2012 will begin this weekend.
Back for a second year, Operation Eureka will target public drunkenness, liquor license breaches and general anti-social behaviour in Ballarat’s CBD.
The full gamut of local police will be out in force, including plain-clothed members from the Divisional Response Unit and Criminal Investigation Unit. Uniformed members will provide a high-visibility presence in and around licensed venues, while Highway Patrol units will blitz the streets to catch those doing the wrong thing on the road.
Ballarat Police Senior Sergeant Neale Robinson said there would also be a large contribution from state-based police resources.
“We’ll have some mounted police up on Saturday night, we’ll have a brawler van here and there’ll be a significant number of booze buses operating throughout the month,” Senior Sergeant Robinson said. “We’ll have members patrolling in vehicles and on foot every weekend for the month.” Senior Sergeant Robinson said while this year’s Operation Eureka would not involve members from the Operational Response Unit, there would still be plenty of blue and white on Ballarat’s streets.
“The theme is the same – it’s about getting out there and being seen,” he said.
“We’ll be concentrating on violence offences, offences against the Liquor Control Act and also drink-driving.”
Senior Sergeant Robinson said the operation was not in response to any recent surge in violent behaviour, but was a proactive measure to make people feel safer during a night out. “We encourage people to go out and have a good time, but do it in a manner that respects others,” he said.
Facets of last year’s Operation Eureka, such as increased foot patrols of the Bridge Mall have since filtered into everyday policing for Ballarat. Following the success of last year, Ballarat police Inspector Bruce Thomas said Operation Eureka was used as a test-bed for future month-long police operations in regional areas.