BEARING WITNESS: Byron Bay policeman Senior Constable Amos in the holding cells where disruptive Saturday night clubbers often find themselves.
BEARING WITNESS: Byron Bay policeman Senior Constable Amos in the holding cells where disruptive Saturday night clubbers often find themselves. Marc Stapelberg

Mood changes as dark falls

IT'S 7pm Saturday when Byron Bay police officer Senior Constable Amos begins his 12-hour shift.

The streets and restaurants are filled with families and friends enjoying a meal and the laidback atmosphere.

But at 10pm the demographic begins to change.

Groups of men and women drinking alcohol migrate from one club to the next.

Underage youths drink in the park. A scuffle breaks out and people need to be moved on.

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The first serious fight breaks out.

"You might get there and it might be a push and shove… or you could turn up and there could be someone seriously injured on the ground," Snr Const Amos said.

"We've had assaults where people have hit people in the head when they're on the ground, things like that," he said.

"People just have to learn to walk away; it's not worth it.

"One punch can kill."

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With drugs such as ice on the rise, the pressure to contain violent situations quickly has escalated.

"If you've ever dealt with someone on ice, you'll know that they have super-human strength and if you don't get in there and fix the situation quickly it can get out of hand and people can get hurt," Snr Const Amos said.

"Half the time they turn on us and they want to fight us," he said.

"A lot of passers-by only see us being aggressive to them; they don't understand the begging of the situation."

There's also trouble on the road.

"Later on at night or early in the mornings we have problems with drink-driving," Snr Const Amos said.

"One minute you can go to an accident where someone's killed and then two hours later you have to deal with an intoxicated person who wants to rip your head off.

"That's the hard part, that transition."

SHARE YOUR STORY

Have you, your family or friends been affected by violence? We would love you to share your story.

Your story is the most powerful way to bring about change. You can share your story easily here, on our website, via our Share Your Story page.

If you want you could also make a short YouTube video telling your story and why you support the #HandsOff campaign. Just remember to send us the link so we can share it with others.
 


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