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Police urge Sydney revelers to celebrate New Year safely

(Xinhua)

16:44, December 30, 2011

SYDNEY, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Australian New South Wales Police on Friday urged the public to welcome the New Year safely.

More than 1.5 million people are expected to gather around the foreshore in Sydney on Saturday to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks.

Police have warned revelers not to booze in alcohol-free zones in force at prime locations along the Sydney Harbor.

Sydney councils have banned alcohol from more than 40 of the most popular spots to watch fireworks.

"Alcohol-free zones will be enforced and police also wish to remind the community that it is an offense to drink alcohol on public transport," Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said in a statement.

"Commuter Crime Unit officers will be patrolling public transport and anyone found in breach will be arrested."

Police will be out in force on Saturday, with 2800 officers patrolling in Sydney's central business district and other locations across the city.

Murdoch said the New Year's Eve crackdown, named Operation Vela, would include general duty officers, mounted police and a strong presence from the riot squad.

"Anyone who attempts to carry or bring alcohol into an alcohol- free zone will lose it and you won't get it back," Murdoch told reporters on Friday.

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