Police: zero tolerance for bad Australia Day behaviour
THOSE heading out and about to celebrate Australia Day today are being urged to take steps to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable day.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said thousands of people were expected to attend celebrations at public events, parks and beaches across the state.
"Australia Day means many things to different people - and with that in mind, we are asking Queenslanders who celebrate tomorrow to do so respectfully and in line with our shared values of respect and mateship,” he said.
"We will have zero tolerance for violence or anti-social behaviour of any kind and there will be a large, visible policing presence across the state - particularly at public events and gatherings.
"In particular, we are asking people to be mindful of how much they are drinking and to watch out for their mates.
"It's important to de-escalate potentially violent situations - as we know, sometimes the consequences of not doing so can be deadly.
"People should also plan ahead to ensure they know how they're getting home after having a few drinks.”
Commissioner Stewart also assured the community there was no known, specific threat to Queensland or Australia Day celebrations.
"We will be utilising all available police resources tomorrow including specialist officers from the Mounted Unit, the Dog Squad, the Water Police and the Public Safety Response Team,” he said.
"The Queensland Police has had plenty of practice in policing high profile public events and we plan for these special occasions for months in advance.
"People should not be deterred from going out and celebrating tomorrow - we put these plans in place because we want to ensure families and friends can get together in a safe and secure environment.”
Tips for a safe Australia Day:
- If you are drinking, don't let your level of intoxication hinder your judgement - de-escalation (such as walking away) during potentially violent incidents is key;
- If you find yourself in a threatening situation or see a crime in progress call Triple Zero;
- If you observe suspicious behaviour report it to police through Policelink on 131 444 or the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.
- Do not consume alcohol in a public place - police can issue on the spot fines;
- Make appropriate transport plans - don't drink and drive and risk your life, the lives of your loved ones or the lives of other innocent Queenslanders;
- Much of Queensland has been experiencing heavy rainfall, so drive to the appropriate road conditions - if it's flooded, forget it.