Police crackdown on troublemakers

TASMANIA Police has a message for New Year's Eve troublemakers -  prepare to watch midnight tick over from a jail cell.

The crackdown on anti-social behaviour will see public order squads target  ``hot spots''' such as Bridport.

The beachside haven has demonstrated an ability to turn ugly in past New Year's celebrations.

In the North a highly mobile squad of 15 officers will be deployed between trouble spots if the need arises.

Other hot-spots include Binalong Bay and the Launceston CBD, which is tipped to draw large crowds for the fireworks at nearby New Year on Royal.

Police will be on the lookout early for alcohol-fuelled violence and bad behaviour.

Drinking booze in banned areas and disturbing members of the public is likely to draw the ire of officers.  

``I've given my people instructions to send a message early in the night - so any behaviour that is inappropriate early on will be stamped out very quickly,'' Northern roads and public order safety Inspector Darren Hopkins said yesterday. 

``Generally, it's those that cause the problems early on that cause bigger problems later.

``So they may not see New Year's Eve on the outside of a cell. They could very well be on the inside if their behaviour warrants it.''

Inspector Hopkins said police would initially be sent to Bridport before dispersing if necessary. 

``If hot spots emerge elsewhere then they will quickly pack up and go to wherever the problem is,'' he said.

Regular uniform police will also be patrolling hot spots in increased numbers. 

Inspector Hopkins said police would be slightly more tolerant of noisy parties but that didn't mean you could turn it to 11 all night long. 

``Be considerate of your neighbours and avoid excessive noise late into the night otherwise police may have to take action to ensure people not celebrating in the same way can enjoy their night,'' he said.

Road safety campaign Operation Crossroads will continue during the period with a focus on drink and drug-driving on the night. 

Police asked revellers to be patient when catching taxis between the peak period of midnight and 2am. 

Metro Tasmania will be running Night Rider services around the state with the latest in the Launceston area running until 1.30am. 

Extra police will also be on the beat in Hobart, including marine officers along the city's waterfront.

A temporary police station will be located within the Taste of Tasmania area. 

 Big numbers are expected in the area due to fireworks, Taste , the Sydney to Hobart finish and events on Parliament House lawns.

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