You know a problem is serious when police forces from both Australia and New Zealand come together to tackle it.
That’s what happened over the weekend with Operation Unite, a campaign targeting alcohol related violence and antisocial behaviour.
On both sides of the Tasman police crews patrolled high traffic areas and enforced the law. The campaign lasted two days and more than 500 people were arrested.
Unfortunately this is significantly more people than in 2011, suggesting that there is still much more work to do before people get the message about alcohol related offences.
“During last December’s (2011) Operation Unite we arrested 385 people over the two nights. This year (2012), we arrested 548 people,” deputy commissioner (field operations) Nick Kaldas said in a statement.
“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.”
A concerning result of the campaign was the number of young people that were found to be heavily intoxicated.
In an incident in Bellevue Hill a 13-year-old girl was found passed out after allegedly consuming a large amount of vodka, according to a NSW police report.
She was discovered at about 21:00 on Saturday (December 8) evening at a Kambala Road property. Approximately 250 teenagers had shown up at the property only to be dispersed by police.
The teenager was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and was in a stable condition.
However she was not the only young person to be negatively impacted by alcohol throughout the course of the operation.
On the same night police were called to Collaroy Beach, where 150 teenagers were found at the sand dunes near the end of the beach.
They were allegedly drinking and dancing and there was DJ equipment, speakers, power generators and laser lights at the scene.
The crowd was dispersed by police, who said that they spoke to those who looked to have arranged the event.
Three drunken brawls followed these incidents, occurring in the early hours of Sunday morning. All in all it was a busy weekend for police but Mr Kaldas said that they would continue to be out in full force this summer.
He emphasises that this campaign is not anti-drinking but rather an attempt to raise awareness about being responsible.
“By all means, go out and enjoy a drink. Just make sure you do so responsibly,” he said.
If you are ever the victim of alcohol-fuelled antisocial behaviour or drink driving then you may like to know that there are lawyers in Sydney who can help you make a claim for compensation.