Fights are regular occurrences in the vicinity of the BP service station on Hospital Rd.
Fights are regular occurrences in the vicinity of the BP service station on Hospital Rd.

Drunken assaults cause for concern

A CONCERNED resident of more than 40 years has spoken out against the “common occurrence” of alcohol-fuelled violence happening late at night on Emerald streets.

The resident pinpointed a stretch of Hospital Rd in the vicinity of the BP petrol station, where late-night revellers migrate in droves after closing time at nearby licensed venues.

After witnessing several violent and threatening incidents over the past few months, the final straw for the resident occurred in the early hours of Sunday night, when he observed the brutal bashing of a 22-year-old male at the “major trouble spot” at about 3am.

The victim was allegedly attacked by three other males. He suffered facial injuries including a fractured skull and was taken to Emerald Hospital by Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics. He refused to speak with police at the time of the assault.

Police re-attended the hospital about midday on Sunday, where the victim stated he had left a hotel earlier that morning before blacking out and waking up in hospital with no recollection of events.

He was later transferred to Rockhampton Base Hospital where he remains in a serious condition.

“This is a common occurrence in this area, especially on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, after the extended trading hours of the hotels at 2am, at which time the drunks make their way down to the BP service station and perform acts like abusing and threatening staff, damaging property and attacking people,” the concerned resident said.

“This has to be addressed urgently before someone loses a life.”

Emerald officer in charge Senior Sergeant Graham Reeves said statistically more assaults and complaints arose out of private residences than licensed venues.

Snr Sgt Reeves said Emerald police, in conjunction with the Emerald Liquor Accord, will soon release a report including statistics that show the rate of violence in and around licensed premises is decreasing.

“Residents may see a couple of incidents in one area, but that’s because that is just where they are looking. If you look at the big picture of where offences occur, which we track every month, the area does not highlight as a specific hotspot that is any worse than others,” he said.

“We regularly patrol licensed premises at night time and we always try to patrol licensed premises around closing time to assist with people getting home quietly and safely.

“If everyone is heading to a particular fast food outlet and the crowd is there, it is understandable that you are going to have more trouble there than other areas.

“But then again, we encounter private parties with no security where there is underage drinking, and which will have a lot more violence and a lot more damage to public property.

“Police would like more information in relation to this assault, it is a serious matter with serious injuries. If anyone has any information please contact police or Crime Stoppers (1800 333 000).”

Central Queensland News contacted a BP spokesperson who declined to comment on the matter.

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