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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Orgy of violence in Byron Bay

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Police from Tweed/Byron Local Area Command are at their wits’ end after spending yet another weekend mopping up the fallout from alcohol-related crime in Byron Bay.

Between Friday night and Monday morning, police ‘moved on’ 21 people and seven were issued criminal infringement notices for alcohol-related offensive behaviour.

According to Inspector Brendan Cohen, crime manager of the Tweed-Byron LAC, it was ‘the worst or close to worst’ weekend for drunken violence and antisocial behaviour in the since the Byron Bay Liquor Accord introduced tougher restrictions they said would help to rid the town of its bad image.

‘Maybe it was coincidental but we had warmer weather on the weekend and the events stretched our resources to limit,’ Inspector Cohen told Echonetdaily.

‘The new Liquor Accord agreement is pretty strong but there is a big onus on the premises to abide by it,’ he added.

‘The one thread that goes through all of this violence and antisocial behaviour is alcohol, and usually it’s from these premises.’

In one of the most puzzling incidents a 24-year-old man found on Jonson Street just after midnight on Monday morning refused to provide police with information on how he came to be suffering from injuries to his eye and mouth.

Inspector Cohen said it was ‘not helpful to us because we would like to resolve [the incident] and put it before the court’.

‘If a victim or a potential victim in these sort of circumstances won’t provide any information to police, we can’t commence a prosecution.’

But he added that people who start fights and come off second best should think twice about refusing to comply with police because ‘we can prosecute for other offences, such as affray’.

He urged people who may have seen this or other incidents on the street over the weekend to come forward.

Toilet block trashed

In another concerning incident, about 11.35pm on Sunday a group of 10 to 15 youths were seen damaging a public toilet block in Apex Park. A significant number of police resources were taken up dealing with this group and issuing move-on directions.

In further alcohol-related incidents, just after 1am on Saturday, a 20-year-old man was issued a criminal infringement notice after security officers physically had to remove him from a hotel on Jonson Street.

At 11pm on Sunday a 30-year-old man was allegedly asked to leave a pub on Jonson Street by security three times, before being physically removed.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Wilkins said in a media release that people need to take responsibility for their drinking.

‘Firstly, people should plan ahead how they will get to and from licensed venues,’ he said.

‘Police do their bit every weekend but the reality is that there are too many people drinking too much. They are not taking responsibility for their actions and they are getting blind drunk.

‘People should be able to go out and have a good time and not be accosted by drunks.

‘It’s sad, but it’s simple: as long as people continue to drink to excess, emergency services and medical professionals will be left to clean up the mess,’ Det Supt Wilkins said.

Anyone with information about these incidents should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://www1.police.nsw.gov.au/.


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9 COMMENTS

  1. The people making huge profits from selling the alcohol should be paying to clean up the mess, not the police and ambos.

  2. Lock them up over night and get their parents to come pick them up ! This is getting out of control. Take control and get really, really tough on these idiots.

  3. Ah, for a return to the good old days of ‘copper biffo’ when thugs learned the hard way what happens when you throw your drunken weight around. But we’re living in ‘enlightened times’ when police daren’t step out of line or face the courts themselves. Who would join the force? No wonder there’s a drop off in recruitment.

  4. It’s sad but it’s simple: as long as we accept and promote alcohol consumption as a regular social activity – our younger people (which most of these offenders are) will demonstrate to us the very real affects of such irresponsible thinking. You only need to look at advertising – even when promoting ‘sensible’ drinking – to see where we are teaching our children and youth that fun supposedly includes alcohol.

  5. Well get ready Byron Shire in approx 3 weeks you are going to have 25,000 people being dropped of into the CBD and outlying communities from Splendour in The Grass and of course they will be as quiet as a mouse NOT. While we are being sold as the festival capitol of the East Coast and promoters are allowed to sell tickets that say Yelgun at Byron we are going to be invaded by this sort of situation and our Local Area Command is going to be stretched to the hilt. The last drop of will be leaving the site at approx 2am so will be coming your way when you hear them good luck Byron our total population is 36,000 rate payers approx 14,000 and you think last weekend was bad….. spare a thought for the men and ladies on the front line they are going to need it and thanks for trying to keep our streets safe.

  6. I was some months back when I read in an international mag whilst on a flight, that the No1 ranking in the world of places you are more likely to be involved in a violent altercation went to Byron Bay, Australia. This disturbed me greatly. What happened to the peace loving community of Byron? What happened to the drumming circles? Byron is losing its essence of peace and love up Under the Rainbow. I see that the community members and business owners of Byron need to come together and start a campaign, re the expectations they have for the tourists etc that are frequenting Byron and exhibiting such behaviour. A campaign that reaches all people from all over the world. The last time I was in Byron I was astounded that a shop front was advertising t-shirts with the slogan “Slap the goon” (or the like – a wine cask bladder). This is what is being promoted in Byron to local and international backpackers (most would not be old enough to drink in their home countries). Put together many different cultures, alchohol, drugs and no limit – hence the behaviours that police are contending with. I think the comment re the warm weather on the weekend was a contributing factor to be an alarming statement. It does not give me confidence to come visit this Summer. Namaste.

  7. I couldn’t help notice today’s story on alcohol was accompanied by a large advertisement for, you guessed it,alcohol. Nice one.

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