Police Minister says welcome in 2016 safely

Queenslanders planning to welcome the New Year at celebrations across the state are being urged to travel and party safely this evening.

Police Minister Bill Byrne says he wants the thousands who will be celebrating tonight to have a great time while respecting others.

Around 100,000 people are expected to attend celebrations at South Bank in Brisbane, while around 50,000 will welcome 2016 in Surfers Paradise.

Minister Byrne said throughout the state there would be a strong police presence at large public events and in the state’s entertainment precincts.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves without incident tonight,” he said.

“Our message to those heading to parties and licensed venues is to see in the New Year safely. I am urging people to take responsibility for their own actions and to respect others.

“It will be a fantastic night of celebration if people make every effort not be anti-social or aggressive.

“Extra police will be on patrol to help families and those attending public events to enjoy a safe and incident-free night.

“If you are intending to drink this evening, make sure you have plans in place for a safe return home. Use public transport, take a taxi or organize a ‘dry driver’.”

Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing said those doing the wrong thing could expect to be removed from entertainment precincts.

“New Year’s is a time of a celebration and we encourage everyone to have a good time tonight,” Deputy Commissioner Pointing said.

“However, there is no place for violence or anti-social behaviour in Queensland and officers will not tolerate unacceptable behaviour.

“We know all too well how aggressive situations can escalate quickly and the consequences can be fatal.

“If you do find yourself in a confrontational situation – simply walk away. We do not want your first hours of 2016 spent in a watchhouse or hospital as a result of your actions.”  

There were 636 people arrested in Queensland during celebrations last year.

Motorists are reminded a significant number of roads will be closed for New Year’s events including in and around the vicinity of South Bank in Brisbane and Surfers Paradise. For a full list of road closures visit www.131940.qld.gov.au.


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