Cops sick of being bashed
SICK of his officers getting bashed, Tweed's top cop is calling for CCTV cameras to help curb the escalating level of alcohol-related violence in Byron Bay.
Tweed Byron Local Area Command Superintendent Stuart Wilkins said the increase in alcohol-fuelled violence was jeopardising Byron Bay's reputation as a safe tourist destination.
"This is about us protecting the reputation of Byron in consultation with the community and government," he said.
"Byron Bay has become a real party town, which is fantastic, but what has come with that is unfortunately a culture of violence."
"My officers don't come to work expecting to be bashed by drunken fools and it's not appropriate."
"It is my view it would be advantageous to us if there was community safety cameras through the main area of Byron where these assaults are occurring."
He said violence against police has been on the rise for the past 12 months.
"Our statistics show us that alcohol-related assaults have been significantly on the rise in the CBD area of Byron for the last six to 12 months."
Supt Wilkins said operation ballast had been launched to combat the rise of alcohol-fuelled violence in Byron Bay.
"We will have eight extra police at Byron on the weekend and every weekend now to do as much as we possibly can to reduce the incidence of alcohol-related assaults," he said.
The perpetrators of the violence were both locals and tourists, Supt Wilkins said.
"Some of them happen from people drinking at home and then going out, some happen when people are walking between venues, at the taxi rank, the pie shop, at parties or backpacker hostels, they are not all associated with licensed premises," he said.
Byron Shire Council has repeatedly said it does not have the money to install CCTV cameras.