Police breach Newcastle pubs during crackdown

Two Newcastle premises were detected as breaching their licensing conditions and eight people were charged last night during the second eve of Operation Roaming.

An extra 50 police officers patrolled the streets of Newcastle on Friday and Saturday nights as riot squad officers joined their Hunter counterparts in operations across the city’s pubs and clubs.

During the operation police completed 38 business inspections, issued 29 drunk and disorderly move-on directions, 17 move-on directions, nine person searches, and two alcohol tip-outs.

Two premises were detected as breaching their licensing conditions.

An increase in street robberies and unprovoked bashings caused police to return serve this weekend with officers inundating trouble spots under the title Operation Roaming.

During the operation's first night, one criminal infringement notice was issued for offensive conduct, one traffic-related penalty notice was served, six directions were made for intoxicated and disorderly persons to move on, 10 people were searched and there was one instance of an alcohol tip-out/confiscation.

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Newcastle crime manager Wayne Humphrey said the latest blitz would become commonplace as senior police looked at new strategies to combat alcohol-fuelled violence and antisocial behaviour.

‘‘It is time the message was well and truly sent to people who think a good night out is coming into town and king-hitting people, or robbing them of their wallets and phones, that there will be officers who are quite happy to meet you, arrest you and put you in front of the courts,’’ Detective Chief Inspector Humphrey said.

Crime statistics have suggested a downwards trend in assaults and violent crime in the city’s party precinct since the introduction of the curfew and lock-out laws four years ago.

However, police intelligence has identified a growing trend of violent street robberies across certain ‘‘migratory routes’’ of revellers across the city late at night.

‘‘The robberies are not the catalyst for the new direction we are taking, but it is one of the factors,’’ Detective Chief Inspector Humphrey said. ‘‘It is about making the city safe and about sending the message that if you want to cause trouble you will be targeted.’’

There will also be patrols through licensed premises and late-night fast-food outlets.

Newcastle City local area command has agreed to old-style flying squads for raids over the next few months. Operation Roaming will include the alcohol and licensing enforcement command, the public order and riot squad, mounted police and dog squad.

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