Radios tune into city thugs

Jane Emerick
Two-way radios were set to debut in Geelong nightclubs last night as the latest weapon in a crackdown on violence in the central city area.
Police issued the radios to nightclubs yesterday so staff could provide instant updates on the movements of likely troublemakers.
Reports on the radios would go to officers on patrol, Geelong Police Station, controllers of surveillance cameras and security at a central city area taxi rank.
Geelong Nightlife Association chairman Darren Holroyd welcomed the radios, saying they would help the fight against crime.
“There has been a lot of criticism about the monitoring of surveillance cameras and this will aid in that,” he said.
“Nightclub operators can use the radios to tell police at the station if they see troublemakers causing damage and they can focus in on it with the cameras. Doormen can communicate to keep people kicked out of a club from entering other clubs.
“Police monitoring the streets would al-so be alerted of possible problems because everyone is using the same channel.
“All of a sudden there are a lot of eyes and ears on any particular group as they move through the city.”
Mr Holroyd and doorman Andrew Frame suggested the use of two-way radios to a Geelong safety committee last week.
Mr Holroyd said the radios would undergo a one-month trial.
Use of the radios could spread to other nightclubs and late-night restaurants if the trial was successful, he said.
Geelong Police Chief Inspector Wayne Carson said the radios would combine with other initiatives under Operation Nightlife to continue cleaning up the streets of the city area after dark.
Police initiated Operation Nightlife after community outrage at violent attacks in December, including the brutal rape of 22-year-old woman and the near-death of a Lara man after a gang bashing.
Insp Carson said the operation had been a success since its introduction three weeks ago.