Hedland bottle shops back open after unprecedented trouble-free night

The West Australian
Sales at Port Hedland liquor stores like this one - pictured before a 2012 cyclone - have resumed this morning. Photo: Paul Ireland.
Camera IconSales at Port Hedland liquor stores like this one - pictured before a 2012 cyclone - have resumed this morning. Photo: Paul Ireland.

Takeaway alcohol sales in Port and South Hedland will re-start this morning after police reported a rare trouble-free night following days of grog-fuelled violence.

Police, acting under section 114 of the Liquor Accord Act, suspended all takeaway sales in Hedland indefinitely on Friday after five “significant” assaults in the previous five days.

But sales were back on by 11am Saturday after the “brutal” pattern of behaviour was not repeated on Friday night.

“We had only one offence reported at 3am and it was non alcohol-related,” WA Police Pilbara District Office Acting Inspector Dean Snashall said.

“We’ll obviously be monitoring the situation and I think people understand under section 114 that if there is a repetition of those kind of events, we can make that decision again.

“I made the original decision at 9.30am on Friday after I observed a large group of intoxicated people waiting for the opening of bottle shops, obviously charged up from the last few days and looking to top up.”

VideoFears of unrest and takeaway alcohol sales are banned after footage was released of Ms Dhu who died in police custody.

Acting Inspector Snashall said there had been no signs of trouble on Friday in relation to the Coroner’s findings into the death of Ms Dhu, who died in 2014 after being in custody at the South Hedland Police Station.

Coroner Ros Fogliani ruled on Friday that Ms Dhu had been treated inhumanely and also publicly released CCTV footage of the days leading up to her death.

“I can’t comment on the findings - our commissioner did that on Friday,” Acting Inspector Snashall said.

“But we’ve had no problems or indications of unrest. We had engaged strongly with the family and the community over the past 12 months.”

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