Police plan a lout block

By Geelong Story Updates
Police roadblocks could target louts from Melbourne looking for trouble in Geelong on Saturday nights.
Police Chief Inspector Wayne Carson is considering roadblocks after calculating that men from Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs are responsible for “at least” half the violence in central Geelong during weekends.
The roadblocks could build on a new accord with licensed premises set to introduce nightclub lockouts later this year, Insp Carson said.
The roadblocks plan and new accord follow reports this week of a policeman comparing drunken violence in Geelong to “downtown Baghdad”.
Insp Carson believed Geelong’s nightlife, particularly its ratio of “two girls for every bloke”, had become a “magnet” for Melbourne troublemakers.
“They think they can come down here to carry on and then just nick off,” he said.
“Let’s stop these mugs coming here – we don’t need them.”
Insp Carson said he had seen roadblocks successfully combat troublemakers at Lorne on successive New Year’s Eves.
Police easily could exercise a similar strategy on Melbourne Road, he said.
“You can pick their cars – they’re not family vehicles,” Insp Carson said.
“If we did it a couple of times, the word would soon get around that (police) will pull you up on your way into Geelong.”
He hoped the community would support police if they decided to implement roadblocks.
Insp Carson met nightclub and council representatives this week to finalise a new nightlife accord.
He said the accord included a nightclub lockout an hour before closing time and a ban on advertising cutprice drinks.
The accord would also require venues to serve drinks in plastic cups and scan patrons’ ID before entry.
Insp Carson expected the accord to be in place throughout City of Greater Geelong, including the Bellarine Peninsula, later this year.
He warned police would push for a lockout as early as 1am if venues baulked at the accord or failed to meet its requirements.
Insp Carson said alcohol was not the sole cause of recent violence in Geelong.
He blamed a surge in amphetamine use coupled with binge drinking as the main culprit.