A press conference about a police operation to combat drug-fuelled violence in Cairns, Queensland was interrupted by a random attack on another police officer. Senior Sergeant Gary Hunter was addressing the media when shouts broke out from behind them.
As Sergeant Hunter watched in shock, another police officer was assaulted off-camera. Five officers were required to restrain the man responsible for the attack. The man, aged 68, refused to give his name and has been charged with one count of seriously assaulting a police officer.
The press conference was addressing alcohol-fuelled violence in the city and announced Operation Victor Craven, which primarily focuses on the Cairns CBD and the Cairns Esplanade precinct.
Thousands of residents and community leaders across north Queensland have recently called for the introduction of a banned drinker register (BDR) and other measures to curb alcohol-fuelled violence. The mayors of Townsville, Cairns, and Mount Isa wrote a letter to Deputy Premier Steven Miles on the issue earlier this month. The attack on the police officer during the press conference underscores the urgency of the situation and the need for decisive action to address the problem.
While the police are taking measures to tackle drug- and alcohol-fuelled violence, it is clear that more needs to be done to protect law enforcement officers and the public from harm. The man responsible for the assault is due to appear in Cairns Magistrates Court on March 16.
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