Cairns warned: be on best New Year's Eve behaviour
THE sun, the sand and the view might be the envy of other officers but constables Matt Shield and Matt McKinnar will be focused on keeping the Cairns Esplanade safe tonight as part of the 15-strong contingent on patrol for New Year's Eve.
Thousands of people are expected to converge on the hotspot to welcome in 2013 and nab the best vantage points to watch the dazzling fireworks and entertainment.
Other party revellers will converge on city restaurants and local nightclubs to bring in the new year with a bang.
With crowds expected to swell, so too will police numbers along the Esplanade and CBD.
Constable Shield said public drinking and anti-social behaviour would not be tolerated, with uniformed and plain-clothes officers launching an operation to keep the area safe for revellers and families.
"We just want to make sure it stays friendly and safe for the families and a message to the hooligans and idiots that they will be dealt with accordingly," Constable Shield said.
"(We will target) public order offences and liquor offences, any public drinking, public nuisance or any fights will be jumped on very quickly."
The operation will run from 8pm until 6am and is an extension of Operation Escalate last month which involved 20 extra officers in the region to crack down on CBD crime.
Cairns District Tactician Sen-Sgt Chris Hodgman said officers would also make their presence felt in both the Edmonton and Smithfield divisions.
"We'll have plain-clothes officers, dog squad, tactical crime squad and general duties officers targeting anyone who wants to drink to excess and misbehave," he said.
"We just ask people to respect other people's space and if you do the wrong thing, you will be caught."
Additional traffic officers will also be on duty targeting drink-driving throughout the city and officers will be inside licensed venues making sure the night remains trouble-free.
"I think people appreciate seeing police out there," Sen-Sgt Hodgman said.
"For us, it's more about high visibility."
Police and Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey said it was important people used common sense and were aware of their personal safety to ensure 2013 got off to a positive start.
The Lagoon will close at 9.30pm after the 9pm fireworks and before the midnight fireworks display.
The Esplanade from Shields to Aplin streets will be closed to motorists from 10am today until 6am tomorrow.
Tips to ring in the New Year safely:
Look after your mates.
Use public transport and taxis where possible.
Plan ahead and book a taxi or designated driver to ensure everyone gets home safely.
Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
Arrange a place to meet if you do get separated from your friends.
Take your mobile phone with you. Save emergency contacts in your phone.
Monitor the number of alcoholic drinks you plan to have.
Make sure you drink plenty of water, even if you are not drinking any alcohol.
Drink at a sensible pace.
Do not leave drinks unattended.
Watch bar staff pour your drinks.
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