Assaults have Albury police seeing red

ALBURY was “in the red” for non-domestic assaults in February and last month, including a widely publicised incident in which a young man was the victim of a serious assault in Dean Street after the Gold Cup.

The city’s police chief, Superintendent Beth Stirton, yesterday said there were 46 assaults reported last month, the same number as February.

She said the figure put the city “in the red” — beyond a police target of 40 non-domestic assaults a month.

She said ensuring people could go out without fear of becoming a victim was a priority.

“Can we do more about it? Yes, of course we can and we always will (do more),” Supt Stirton said.

“My key priority is to have our community safe and particularly to have people feel comfortable to go out at night and enjoy themselves,” she said.

“Everyone has the right to do that and when people behave inappropriately, we will be out looking for them to lock up.”

Supt Stirton rejected suggestions there had been an increase in Dean Street assaults, saying two or three “serious assaults” in the area had given the appearance of a spike.

She said alcohol- related crime had fallen from about 650 to about 150 incidents in recent years.

“There are still ass-aults at times that are one-punch or vicious assaults,” she said.

“They have happened for years and years, but they are reducing.”

Supt Stirton said she would maintain high visibility Dean Street patrols, work at the city’s liquor accord strategy and work with the Albury Council on the provision of CCTV cameras.

NSW figures released on Thursday showed Albury had a 9.5 per cent jump in domestic-related assaults from January 2012 to December 2013.

There were 277 domestic assaults and 394 non-domestic assaults reported last year.

The issue of alcohol-fuelled violence in Dean Street rose again two weeks ago with an assault on the son of former Albury policewoman and councillor Lynda Summers after the Albury Gold Cup.

Jake Summers, 20, required facial reconstruction and a metal plate inserted into his face after an alleged unprovoked attack.

A man, 19, has been charged with reckless grievous bodily harm.