21 December 2022

Police impressed no assaults or violence found during blitz of licenced venues

| Claire Fenwicke
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Police officer in Lonsdale Street

Extra police officers were out in force on Saturday (17 December) night as part of Operation Midnight. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

Both police and licensed venue compliance officers have hailed a high-visibility blitz of Canberra’s entertainment precincts.

Region was invited along for Operation Midnight on Saturday night (17 December) as officers targeted alcohol-fuelled violence, anti-social behaviour, the responsible service of alcohol and impaired driving.

Police took nine people into custody for being intoxicated and disorderly, while 13 were given exclusion notices and two people were arrested and charged with failing to comply with an exclusion notice.

Two positive roadside results were detected out of 375 random breath tests across the evening, including a learner driver who returned an oral fluid analysis of 0.144, almost three times the legal limit for a driver with a full licence. Learner drivers must return a BAC reading of 0.0.

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Officer in Charge of City Police Station Detective Inspector Stephen Ladd said police were pleased with the behaviour of patrons across the evening.

“The most impressive thing from a police perspective is there were no substantial assault or violence offences identified across the night, and this appears to be due to the increased and constant police presence,” he said.

“This operation utilised resources from multiple ACT Policing portfolios, as well as our colleagues from Access Canberra, and shows how valuable collaborative operations of this nature can be.”

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Access Canberra Executive Branch Manager Licensing and Registrations Derise Cubin said Liquor Licencing Inspectors identified 28 potential non-compliance breaches across six licenced premises in the CBD.

These included concerns with fire exits and decibel breaches.

“It’s important that liquor licensees understand and meet their obligations under the Liquor Act to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the Canberra community,” Ms Cubin said.

“We want to make sure everyone can enjoy a night out and get home safely this festive season.”

Anyone concerned about as venue not demonstrating responsible service of alcohol can lodge a complaint with Access Canberra.

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