Senior Sergeant Neville Patterson said the emergence of Scarborough Beach as a new hub for bars and restaurants, combined with summer events, was prompting police to take a strong stance on alcohol consumption.
Sen Sgt Patterson said an operation in 2012-13 had resulted in about 270 fines being handed out for Liquor Control Act offences, including street drinking.
He said as a result of that operation and education, only 70 fines were issued the following year and there was a reduction in antisocial behaviour.
‘For about six months over summer, we focus on providing a strong police presence in Scarborough and have a no-tolerance approach to street drinking and reserve drinking on the beach front,’ he said. ‘People have realised that is not appropriate to come down to the beach with a case of beer and drink all day.’
Sen Sgt Patterson said officers would work with managers of new bars and restaurants such as Matisse and Squire’s Fortune to ensure their emergence did not have negative effects on the area.
‘There are issues associated with these new licensed venues that do concern us and we will be doing a lot of work with these new businesses to make sure there is no slippage or problems with patrons,’ he said. ‘It is important that Scarborough Beach remains a family-friendly environment.
‘Crowd behaviour will once again be a focus for the Scarborough local policing team and we don’t want to see problems associated with anti-social behaviour and unlawful alcohol consumption on the beachfront.’
McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth director Mike Daube said easier access to alcohol through low-cost bottle shops was a concern.
‘We don’t need to encourage an easy access/binge drinking culture,’ he said.