Police target alcohol abusers


A STRONG police presence in the Frankston CBD – and especially the entertainment precinct – on Friday night was run as part of Operation Abide.

Officers targeted the “radical” selling of alcohol, unruly behaviour, under-age drinking and anti-social behaviour. They also kept an eye out for “vulnerable road users”.

Acting Inspector Andrew McDowell on Wednesday said police “would be visible and prevent any social disorder”. He said they would engage with retailers of pre-packaged alcohol because “most drivers for crime come from alcohol”.

“It’s a huge issue for us,” he said. “It generates anti-social behaviour, violence and traffic incidents – every crime theme we have.”

Acting Inspector McDowell said police would give retailers and licensees advice on “target hardening” – reducing the risk of theft – and preventive issues to beef up in-store security.

The operation is relevant in the lead up to a liquor forum on 16 July. The aim of a liquor forum is to get police, retailers, licensees and local councils working together to improve safety in entertainment areas, reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, traffic offences and violence.

The forums focus on the supply of alcohol, the management and conduct of licensed premises and packaged outlets, the banning of troublemakers and the sharing of information between forum members and their staff.

“We want to improve communication between officers, managers and licensees,” Acting Inspector McDowell said. “It’s a whole-of-government approach; a long-term strategy. The return on this investment will be significant.”

He said “high-risk” outlets in the entertainment precinct would be targeted. “We aim to be robust and open up lines of communication by getting out there and building relationships. We want retailers to be pro-active. It’s all part of taking small steps for a greater vision.”

First published in the Frankston Times – 6 July 2015

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