Police out in force on New Year’s Eve

HOTELS and licensed premises will put their own procedures in place on Saturday night to deal with the post-race crowd and New Year’s Eve revellers, according to Orange Liquor Accord chairperson Bill Kelly.

Mr Kelly said the last meeting of the liquor accord, comprising Orange licensees, was held prior to the Melbourne Cup. It was at this meeting strategies were discussed to deal with the Christmas Eve crowds in licensed premises.

However, he said the New Year’s Eve race meeting wasn’t discussed as it has been several years since a race meeting had been held on New Year’s Eve.

“That one has really snuck under the radar for us,” Mr Kelly said.

“It will be up to the individual premises to make their own decisions about when they will close up.

“Although I am assuming some will close early, just as they did on Christmas Eve.

“I would suggest anyone who intends to go out on Saturday night ring ahead to the venue and find out the closing time.”

Acting Canobolas Local Area Commander Inspector Peter Atkins said sufficient police had been rostered on to deal with the race crowd and New Year’s Eve revellers, both in the central business district and at Waratah Sportsground for the McCormack Barber Evening Under the Stars.

“We will be utilising all our police on the night including highway patrol and, as well as undertaking walk-throughs of local licensed premises, we will have CCTV footage to rely on in the central business district in the event of anti-social behaviour,” he said.

Inspector Atkins said a combination of police paid for by the event organisers and general duties officers will maintain a presence throughout the night at Waratahs.

Even though it is the busiest time in the city for police in years, Inspector Atkins said police from neighbouring commands had not been called in for the night.

He said police had the power to hand out on-the-spot fines for offensive behaviour.

“We will have more than enough police for an adeuqate response on Saturday night,” he said.

Racing Orange chairperson Ellie Brown said the club would provide transport back to Orange for racegoers on Saturday afternoon.

“We won’t have the usual amount of buses we had for the Melbourne Cup meeting but there will be a couple so we encourage people not to drink and drive,” she said.


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