Police beach blitz a success

Police patrolling Altona Beach. (Joe Mastroianni) 257130_01

By Molly Magennis

An operation focused on maintaining safety on Hobsons Bay beaches this summer has been successful so far, according to police.

Operation Summersafe is a statewide Victorian operation held annually every summer, with police patrolling beaches and surrounding areas to mitigate anti-social behaviour.

Starting in November last year and running until this March, police in Williamstown and Altona have been actively patrolling in areas around the public transport hubs, parks, and roads surrounding beaches, such as Pier street in Altona.

Aside from dealing with a couple minor issues, Hobsons Bay Inspector Tim O’Connor said overall the behaviour of people at and around beaches has been good.

“Generally the behaviour of everyone has been really good,” he said.

“We had a number of hot days over the New Year period, but there was nothing significant that came out of that from an antisocial behavior [perspective].

“We’re very happy with the behavior that was seen by everyone on the beaches. We’ve had a strong police presence there, and we’ll continue that throughout the summer period.”

One of the things police have been experiencing however, is theft from beaches, with valuables like mobile phones being stolen when people leave their belongings to go swimming.

“At Altona they’ve got the lockers (at Norfolk Cafe, Altona Beach),” Inspector O’Connor said.

“So I really encourage people to use those lockers to store their valuables and [that] just reduces that risk.”

Inspector O’Connor said police had also experienced issues with people accessing Altona Pier despite it being closed and fenced off due to structural concerns.

“Look, it’s not safe. That’s why there’s a fence up and they shouldn’t be using it,” he said.

Inspector O’Connor said police are also gearing up to make preparations for Australia Day.