Arrests during crackdown on alcohol-related crime

NORTHERN Region police made 29 arrests during a trans-Tasman weekend crackdown on alcohol-related crime.

Uniformed and plain-clothes police patrolled licensed premises and conducted random breath tests on Friday and Saturday night as part of the annual Operation Unite.

The thin blue line was highly visible in inner-city Newcastle, with dozens of officers presenting a strong deterrent to drunken revellers.

Part of the operation  focused on the recent spate of armed robberies at licensed premises in the Hunter.

No major incidents were reported in the Hunter Region, and Newcastle police said they were ‘‘happy’’ with the conduct of the operation.

Statewide it was a different story, with arrest numbers much higher than last year’s operation.

Police arrested 548 people over the two nights, compared with 385 last year.

Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas said police would continue to target alcohol-related violence throughout the summer months.

‘‘Despite the community’s best efforts to curb alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour, it’s clear some people just aren’t getting the message,’’  Commissioner Kaldas said.

‘‘By all means, go out and enjoy a drink. 

‘‘Just make sure you do so responsibly.’’

He said too many serious, alcohol-related assaults occurred during the summer months.

‘‘Getting drunk and getting into a fight can have life-altering consequences,’’  Commissioner Kaldas said.

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