It's been described as "the scourge of Sydney".
And police officers, doctors and nurses say they've had
As yet another young man fought for his life in hospital
after a horrific night of brutality on Sydney streets,
front-line workers came out to deplore the escalation in
Standing outside St Vincent's Hospital, where a 23-year-old
man remained in a coma with devastating injuries from an
attack overnight, public affairs manager David Faktor told
reporters: "It's a zoo in there."
"You would be mocking the anguish of any of our front-line
nurses or doctors if you were to talk about significant
reductions in alcohol-related assaults," he said.
"We're more concerned than we have ever been before."
A total of 213 people were arrested in NSW overnight on the
first day of Operation Unite - a two-day police blitz on
alcohol misuse, crime, violence and anti-social behaviour in
Australia and New Zealand.
The Bondi Beach man, whose head was stomped on in front of
dozens of onlookers, was one of many victims.
Another young man had his head stomped on after he was set
upon by four people outside a Sydney city nightclub, while a
48-year-old victim was punched in the head from behind at
A young man was punched in the face in Kings Cross in a
brazen attack in front of police officers.
One man's ear was almost severed off in a glassing attack at
a hotel near Wollongong, while a 25-year-old man was knocked
unconscious after falling two storeys from a hotel balcony at
Mr Faktor said the common factor was alcohol.
"We have a massive problem on our hands," he said.
"Alcohol is too readily available and we're too lax in terms
of our laws in inhibiting that availability."
NSW police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas said he was
extremely concerned that while the numbers of arrests was
marginally down from last year's operation, the level of
violence had escalated.
"It is of great concern that people simply don't think
further than the next five seconds," Mr Kaldas told
"People still continue to do these things despite the massive
publicity that each of these incidents get and despite it
being clear that this has a huge impact not only on the
offender's family but on the victim's family and society
NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson called on the government
to introduce Labor's plan to tackle alcohol-related harm,
which includes 1am lockouts in the Sydney CBD and Kings
Mr Robertson said a similar plan trialled in Newcastle had
seen a 26 per cent reduction in alcohol-related attacks.
"Alcohol-fuelled violence is now becoming the scourge of
Sydney," Mr Robertson said.
"What we need is a comprehensive, detailed proposal ... that
actually confronts and deals with the problem."
Mr Kaldas warned would-be offenders of increased police
patrols on Saturday night.