Stabbing another admission: Coffs has a drinking problem
TO police it was another clear admission the Coffs Coast has a drinking problem.
As two young women lay bloodied suffering stab wounds outside a local hotel, a large group of heavily intoxicated people fought in the street in a wild night out at Park Beach.
The alcohol-fuelled violence, which saw two women hospitalised on Sunday night, and another before court facing two counts of reckless wounding has prompted police to say 'enough is enough.'
In light of the disturbing scenes outside the Hoey Moey, police will be out in force this weekend staging a crackdown on drunkenness, violence and anti-social behaviour.
As NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione this week announced the next phase of Operation Unite, a 19-year-old woman was granted conditional bail in the Coffs Harbour Local Court following the weekend's double stabbing.
Police allege that Shelley Dodds of Boambee was involved in an altercation with two women around 9.20pm when she left and armed herself with a knife.
It's alleged she returned and inflicted knife wounds on the women during a brawl involving up to 20 people.
Multiple police crews responded and dispersed the crowd as paramedics treated the injured women and conveyed them to Coffs Harbour Base Hospital.
Police said Sunday night's events added to a long list of violent incidents all linked to excessive drinking.
Coffs Clarence Duty Officer Inspector Brendan Gorman said this weekend's summer blitz will see an increased police presence in local licensed premises, as well as greater patrols on the streets and local roads.
"Alcohol fuelled violence exposes the public and the responding police to great risks of physical harm and great risks to their own mental health," Inspt. Gorman said.
Officers have been instructed to issue $550 on-the-spot fines to anyone who refuses to leave a licensed premises or anyone who refuses to obey police orders.
The corresponding operation staged last December saw 209 people charged with 381 offences in NSW.
"We owe it to the people of NSW to get drunken criminals off the streets," Commissioner Scipione said.
"However, it's more than that…we have a duty of care for people as well.
"It's heart-breaking to see young teens roaming the streets of our cities and towns in the middle of the night, full to the gills with alcohol."
Hoey Moey business manager Twaine Voglsinger said hotel staff were assisting police with their investigations into Sunday night's brawl.
"Our thoughts are with the families of the girls and it's great to see they will be fine," Mr Voglsinger said.