Police warn Sydneysiders to stay away from Eastern beaches

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Cronulla beach: Police Commissioner warns Sydneysiders to "stay away"

New South Wales Police Commissioner Ken Moroney has warned people to stay away from Cronulla, the Eastern suburbs beaches, Central Coast beaches, Wollongong and Newcastle this weekend, as more violence is expected. Police will be using new powers to set up roadblocks, implement alcohol bans, and search vehicles. There will be 1,500 extra police patrolling on Saturday, and 2,000 on Sunday.

"Our latest intelligence tells us that large numbers of people are planning to go to these areas on Sunday to cause riotous behaviour. In the interests of public safety it is my duty to warn the public that these areas have been identified as targets."

"Anyone who wants to travel to these identified areas is very likely to get caught up in long traffic delays and may well have their car searched by police if they want to enter these areas", Commissioner Moroney said. "Any unnecessary travel is almost certainly going to cause traffic gridlock and make it a much harder job for police."

There have been six days of violence in Sydney after riots in Cronulla on Sunday, sparked by an assault on a lifesaver the previous weekend. The police operation, dubbed Operation Seta, has been attempting to manage the problems. The number of police assigned to Operation Seta has gradually increased throughout the week, from a couple of hundred on Monday night, to the 2,000 expected this Sunday.

Background articles

Flag of Australia.svg Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: 2005 Sydney race riots

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