UNPRECEDENTED: Superintendent John Gralton with the 25 new probationary constables hitting the streets yesterday. – Picture by Max Mason-HubersNEWCASTLE police have warned anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated over the holiday period with 25 new probationary constables hitting the streets yesterday.
Superintendent John Gralton said the intake was a record for the Newcastle local area command and would help to keep drunk and disorderly behaviour to a minimum over Christmas.
Newcastle’s CBD has five establishments on the state’s most-violent hotels list, including three categorised as level-one, which is the highest based on the number of assaults.
‘‘It is absolutely unprecedented for Newcastle LAC to get that many probationary constables,’’ Superintendent Gralton said. ‘‘Northern Region was given 183 in the allocation from the academy with a recognition that country policing needs a boost at the moment.
‘‘The message needs to be ‘if you are out and about on the street at Christmas time enjoy yourself, but we will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour’. If you are walking down the street we want you to feel safe and as soon as somebody commits an offence they are going to have to deal with the consequences.’’
MJ Finnegans was listed as the region’s most violent venue, ahead of Fannys and the Cambridge Hotel while King Street Hotel and Maitland’s Belmore Hotel were level-two listings.
‘‘It’s coming into our busy period when we have a lot of anti-social behaviour around the licensed premises in the CBD we really need extra support on the street,’’ Superintendent Gralton said.
‘‘We’re trying to send a strong message to the community that if the police turn up there are going to be consequences and we will be taking action to try to reduce that anti-social behaviour in the city.
Superintendent Gralton said Newcastle’s command had significantly reduced the number of police on sick leave over the past six months.
He was also looking forward to the arrival of another six officers on transfers and four or five sergeants that had been recruited.
‘‘That means about 35 extra cops for Newcastle coming in December and January,’’ he said.