NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher today announced strengthened police move-on powers to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
“Under these new laws to be introduced by my Government today, fulfilling yet another election commitment, Police will be able to move-on intoxicated individuals who are acting in a way that may cause harm to themselves, to others or to property,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“Under the current law, move-on powers can only be used for groups of three or more under the current law,” he said.
“We have to change the culture of alcohol related anti-social behaviour in NSW, and that change starts with making people personally responsible for their own actions.
“The Police are sick of being punching bags on a Friday and Saturday night in our major entertainment districts,” he said.
Mr Gallacher said the community is all too familiar with the problems and the destructive nature which can be caused by a single drunk.
“The offending individual may be shouting and swearing under the windows of people trying to sleep. He or she can be seen any Friday and Saturday night walking recklessly out into traffic or stumbling around railway stations,” Mr Gallacher said.
“We are changing this so Police can give a direction to move on intoxicated individuals as well as groups. The laws can only be exercised in public places.
“This is aimed at those individuals whose excessive drinking makes late night entertainment areas unpleasant and, often, positively dangerous.”
Mr Gallacher said the new laws will be a valuable preventative measure as, by complying with the police move-on direction a person will be able to avoid a charge of being 'intoxicated and disorderly' – a new summary offence which the NSW Government will also shortly introduce.
“With this simple but important reform, the capacity of police to keep our streets and other public places safer will be considerably strengthened,” Mr Gallacher said.