Police increase beach presence

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AN increased police presence will be patrolling Port Phillip Bay beaches this summer to help curb bad behaviour.

Local police will work with the public order response team, mounted branch, water police, drone unit, and dog squad as part of Operation Summersafe. The operation will run from St Kilda down to the Mornington Peninsula.

Commander Libby Murphy said “police will have a highly visible presence right across Port Phillip Bay and other beach areas within the Southern Metropolitan Region.”

“There will be a focus on using real time intelligence and technology through the drone unit to detect and deter offending behaviour, giving us the ability to flexibly deploy resources to where they’re most needed,” Commander Murphy said.

“Last year with the onset of some early warmer weather, police unfortunately had to respond to a small number of incidents involving anti social behaviour by large groups of youths, prior to the commencement of Operation Summersafe, as well as assaults and robberies.

“If you choose to have weapons or be unruly, confrontational or cause people to be alarmed, police will swiftly identify you, intervene and take action. We know these groups often travel between popular beach locations so we’ll be closely monitoring the public transport network to ensure that everyone can go about their day and night safely.”

Acting Commander Therese Fitzgerald said “police will not tolerate a small number of people choosing to do the wrong thing and spoiling the summer period for the rest of the community.”

“Victoria Police will be working hard to keep you safe but it must not be forgotten that everyone has a responsibility to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer for all,” she said. “Police and protective services officers will also be actively patrolling public transport hubs, local roads and enforcing local bylaws regarding the consumption and possession of alcohol.”

The operation is underway, and runs until March.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 4 December 2019

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