Assaults mar NYE as Victorians stay home

Karen Sweeney
·2-min read

A teenager is in hospital after a New Year's Even knife attack near Geelong, while another man has life-threatening injuries after a party was gatecrashed in Melbourne's southeast.

A 48-year-old man was airlifted to hospital with critical injuries after the incident in Cranbourne West, while two other men, aged 41 and 30, suffered serious injuries.

More than a dozen serious assaults were reported to police overnight, but Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent said it was the quietest year the force has seen in a long time.

The threat of coronavirus transmission was a reality check for people, with many deciding to celebrate at home this year.

"I noticed a shift, and understandably so from what we've been through - no one wants to go through that again," Mr Nugent said.

"As always there are a small number of people who do the wrong thing and this year was no different."

A 16-year-old boy was the victim of a knife attack in Ocean Grove and was taken to hospital in Geelong.

One person has been arrested over that incident, while four people were arrested over the Cranbourne West assaults, he said.

Illegal fireworks were also a problem for police, with 10 incidents reported and three people arrested.

Two people suffered hand and face injuries after setting off fireworks in Lorne, and another two suffered similar injuries in Gippsland.

"No matter how many times you say it we just continue to see the injuries. That's the sad part," Mr Nugent said.

A dance party in St Kilda attracted more than 100 people at one point, but crowds quickly dispersed when police arrived.

Seventeen people were arrested across the state overnight for being drunk in public, while 25 were arrested for drug offences and five for weapons offences.