‘Village idiots’ put on notice

DON’T be the “village idiot”.

This was the stern warning from police ahead of New Year’s Eve festivities tonight.

Police in Albury, Wodonga and Wangaratta will ramp up their presence in clubs, pubs, on the roads and on the street in the hope of preventing trouble and tragedy.

Albury Insp John Wadsworth said drunken fools would miss out on the fun.

“We will work closely with licensed premises ensuring drunken louts do not ruin the night for revellers,” he said.

“Drunken fools will not gain entry to licensed venues and police will use their move-on powers to address alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour to ensure these reprobates do not bother revellers.

“I urge everyone who is heading to the Dean Street precinct to go home when you have finished partying and not mill around the main street.

“Think about your transport options, it may be wise to head home a little earlier rather than be caught in the queue for transport.

“If you choose to drink and drive, you will be caught.

“It is all about your choice — do you want to wake up to spend the new year in a police cell intoxicated as the newly crowned village idiot or moderate your drinking and have a great New Year’s Eve?”

Wangaratta police Sgt Damien Loiterton said it was the busiest night for police and simple steps could be taken so the night didn’t sour.

“Don’t drink and drive, don’t resort to violence, look after your mates, ensure your own personal safety, use public transport and make sure you’re travelling with other people,” he said.

Wodonga police Sen-Constable Tim Mooney said to watch out for friends.

“If they’re getting too intoxicated, take them home, put them in a taxi, make sure they get home safely,” he said.

Sen-Constable Mooney said noisy parties, intoxicated people on the street and revellers refusing to leave venues were typically the biggest problems on New Year’s Eve.

He asked anyone hosting a party to let their neighbours know in the lead-up to the night.

Insp John Wadsworth is hoping for a trouble-free night tonight.

Insp John Wadsworth is hoping for a trouble-free night tonight.