People are being
urged to stay away from beaches in Sydney, Wollongong and
Newcastle this weekend after police received credible threats
of gang violence.
NSW Premier Morris
Iemma said police had received intelligence from the public
indicating gangs would target Cronulla, Sydney's eastern
beaches, Wollongong, Newcastle, and some Central Coast beaches
As a result of the latest threats, police numbers would
be boosted further to 1,500 on Saturday and 2,000 on Sunday
to try to prevent a repeat of last weekend's race riot at
Cronulla, Mr Iemma said.
NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney had yesterday announced
that an extra 1,000 police would be on duty on Saturday
and an extra 1,500 on Sunday.
"The police do advise that there are credible threats
of large numbers of people wishing to congregate at a range
of beachside locations and do intend on riotous behaviour,"
Mr Iemma told reporters. "We are determined to ensure
public order and safety." About 5,000 people converged
on Sydney's North Cronulla beach last Sunday, sparking a
race riot that led to further violence across Sydney's southern
suburbs during the week. The premier urged locals and visitors
to stay away from the targeted locations, where police would
be conducting roadblocks and other anti-riot measures. "Based
on the credibility of those threats, travel to these areas
should be avoided and residents living within the areas
... should not be at those locations," Mr Iemma said.
"Police will be using tough new powers that have been
granted to them following the emergency sitting of parliament."
Mr Moroney apologised to the public for any inconvenience
but asked them to cooperate with police and stay away from
beaches in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.
"I do not seek to inconvenience the travelling public
of NSW but clearly these are extraordinary measures for
extraordinary times," Mr Moroney said. "You will
understand there will be a large police presence as we apply
the new laws in terms of lockdowns ... and the stopping
and searching of motor vehicles. "I simply seek a level
of cooperation from individuals and from families who are
travelling to these locations that on this occasion they
assist the police by not going."
He said roadblocks would be in place at various locations
to be advised.
Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Goodwin, who will command
the weekend's operation, said police would do all they could
to keep the beaches and communities safe.
"We have intelligence that people are intending to
attend those areas to conduct themselves in a riotous manner
armed with various weapons – baseball bats, sticks, poles
and the like – and it is my intention to keep those communities
safe," Mr Goodwin said.
the Daily Telegraph, and published on 16 december 2005)