Police may strike unless Byron gets CCTV and more cops
POLICE are considering taking strike action if CCTV isn't installed and more police aren't deployed to Byron Bay by December, says the local Police Association branch administrator.
Despite statistics indicating the number of assaults in Byron Bay had decreased over the past year, the Tweed Byron Police Association said random and savage attacks were still happening and could be prevented if CCTV was installed.
Tweed Byron Police Association of NSW branch administrator Sgt Troy Hamilton said at least three officers were injured over the weekend by "drunken thugs thinking they can use police as punching bags."
A 26-year-old man was also assaulted while walking down Jonson St on Sunday night and a tourist was king-hit from behind last Wednesday while walking along Jonson St to The Balcony restaurant.
"These random attacks illustrate the need for monitored CCTV and more police at Byron Bay," Sgt Hamilton said.
Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research figures show non-domestic violence-related assaults dropped 12% in Byron Bay and sexual assaults fell 16% and Byron Bay is also no longer in the top 30 local government areas in NSW for non-domestic violence-related assaults.
Treasurer of the Byron Bay Liquor Accord and general manager of The Cellar Byron Bay, Darren Pearson, backed the police's calls for CCTV while acknowledging the positive results the Liquor Accord had achieved.
"We have undertaken an extensive suite of measures to combat alcohol-related violence as part of OLGR's 'Byron Bay Alcohol Action Plan' and these seem to be having a positive effect," he said.
Mr Pearson said a prohibition plan by the 'Last Drinks at 12' group would dump everyone onto the streets at midnight and would be a "recipe for more, not less problems".
The Byron Bay Liquor Accord has agreed and will formally vote at next Wednesday's meeting to continue its current terms for the next six months.
This will allow a full assessment of OLGR's Byron Bay Action Plan involving a range of stakeholders in Byron Bay including the council, police and the Byron Liquor Accord.