Hobsons Bay’s summer policing team has launched Operation Mercury to target antisocial behaviour around Williamstown and Altona beaches.

Police are simultaneously running Operation Teetotaller, with officers conducting checks in and around late-night licensed venues.

The summer policing team will patrol until mid-March.

Williamstown station officer in charge Chris Allen said police worked very closely with PSOs at train stations.

“They act also as our eyes and ears for large groups of people coming in off our trains to visit the beaches, especially on these warm days and warm weekends – that’s when we get the big influx of people,” Senior Sergeant Allen said.

“They are like our early tsunami warning in regards to influx of people.”

Meanwhile, a community forum held in Williamstown last week identified the
need for more police on the beat as the No.1 priority.

Senior Sergeant Allen said the forum aimed to identify issues of concern to people in Williamstown, Newport and Spotswood.

“Our main goal was trying to find out from members of the community three things – what their priorities were, what their issues were and where they wanted to see police over the upcoming busy summer period,” he said.

“Within 10 minutes, we were able to easily see the three main issues … they want to see more visible presence, they want to see more foot patrols and they want more engagement with the police – that was overwhelmingly the most popular one.

“The next one was public order issues – noise complaints, beggars in the street, those type of things.

“The other one was youth, so a lot more engagement with police and youth, especially around the schools.”