The Age has reported that police will be attending the Melbourne leg of Big Day Out in force. As part of a massive police crackdown on violence on Australia Day, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp has warned partygoers that they will be watching.
According to recent statistics, Australia Day now has more non-domestic violent assaults than any other day of the year. Needless to say, the mix of sun, booze, drugs and shirtless, Southern-Crossed mob mentality is a key influence.
50,000 people are expected to walk through the gates of BDO Melbourne tomorrow, all of whom will be subject to sniffer dogs. To those planning on running the gauntlet, Crisp warns, “Anyone that is attending that particular event, if you intend on bringing drugs to that event there is every chance that you will get caught… Just don’t do it. Not just for your sake but for the sake of everyone else who attends the event.”
20 people were booked last year, and 89 people were busted in 2011 despite police canning the sniffer dogs and Police Minister Peter Ryan claiming there were no drugs at the event.
That said, Crisp also understands our rite of passage. “They are doing what they should be doing on Australia Day, getting out and catching up with friends and making the most of the weekend. But it’s important to keep this in perspective. There are 109 assaults [last Australia Day] when you look at the number of people across the state who go out and have a good time.”
This is currently a hot topic of discussion given the recently commenced inquest into the death of a fan at Perth BDO 2009.