HAVE YOUR SAY: Police push to ban Docklands’ drunks
DRUNK and rowdy revellers could be removed from Docklands as police seek ways to curb the rocketing rate of alcohol-fuelled trouble in the suburb.
Police figures show there has been a 96 per cent increase in public order offences, such as drunkenness and anti-social behaviour, since 2007. There has been a 38 per cent rise in the number of licensed venues during the same period.
Victoria Police has applied to make Docklands a designated area, which would allow officers to ban drunk and disorderly people for up to 24 hours.
The bans have been imposed in the CBD for the past three years.
While the final decision will be made by Director of Liquor Licensing Mark Brennan, the proposal gained backing from Melbourne Council at a meeting last week. Supt Rod Wilson said more than 3000 people had been banned from the CBD since the powers were introduced and that police found the measures an “effective tool in combating anti-social behaviour”.
“This will greatly assist in driving down public order category offending in (Docklands), as it has within the CBD, by providing a proactive public order enforcement tool,” Supt Wilson said in a letter to the council.
Docklands Community Association president Roger Gardner also backed the move. “It (the ban) serves to protect our interests and there has been a rapid growth of licensed premises which has increased … unacceptable behaviour,” he said.
Mr Brennan has requested more information from Victoria Police before he makes his decision.
In addition to the CBD, Victoria Police have similar banning powers in potential trouble zones such as Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Smith St, Collingwood, Chapel St, Prahran and parts of St Kilda.
A recent report by Melbourne Council officers revealed it spends $2.5 million a year on maintenance and security in Docklands.