Give yourselves a pat on the back, Australia -- by all accounts, you had a fun and safe New Year’s Eve.
That’s the word from police around the country who are applauding our efforts to bring in 2016.
“With only a few exceptions, the vast majority of people in the city for New Year’s Eve behaved safely, sensibly and responsibly,” NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller said.
Assistant Commissioner Fuller coordinates Operation Devlin, the biggest planned operation in the state’s policing calendar.
In New South Wales, the revelry was marred by a couple of unfortunate events -- including an alleged fake bomb threat called in by a man in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and brawls at Leichhardt and Balmain.
But with more than 2,500 extra police were onboard for the event, the consensus from police was that the behaviour of Sydneysiders was “responsible and positive.”
Further south, Victorian police also applauded partygoers for being on their “best behaviour.” In Melbourne’s CBD, where more than half a million people gathered to ring in the new year, only two people were arrested.
They were also on hand to drop the recovery soundtrack for those with heavy heads the next day.
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) January 1, 2016
It wasn’t all positives out of Melbourne, though.
Police say the phone of a 12-year-old cancer patient was stolen from her hospital room when she left to watch the New Year’s fireworks for half an hour.
The iPhone 6S was a Christmas present from her parents.
“To enter a hospital ward where children suffering from serious illnesses are being treated to steal a phone is disgusting,” Melbourne North Police Station Constable Luke Schwarze said.
“She received the phone as a Christmas gift so she could keep in contact with everyone back in Stanhope while she was away from home.”
The Sunshine State received its fair share of praise from Queensland Police Minister Bill Byrne.
“It is pleasing to hear that while police had a busy night across the state, the majority of celebrations were free of any major incidents,” he said.
“Crowd numbers were higher than last year and most revellers were well behaved. I think that is a great start to 2016 but unfortunately there were some who ignored the warnings and risked their lives and lives of others by driving while drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs.”
In all, 536 people were arrested across the state, 100 less than the previous year.
The combination of good behaviour, fun, and some spectacular fireworks even led the City of Sydney to declare 2015’s New Year celebrations the best ever.