Data reveals number of Illawarra 'king hits'

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Unofficial NSW Ambulance data suggests there were at least 21 "king hits" in the Illawarra and on the South Coast during 2012 and 2013, many of them recorded in suburban areas.

Because paramedics do not officially record the type of offence that results in a patient being treated, the data can only be used as a guideline to the number of king hits in the region.

Last year, six of the 11 "king hit" assaults were recorded in Wollongong itself, compared with just one in 2012.

There were also three incidents in Warrawong, two in Bomaderry, and one each in Moruya, Sanctuary Point, Albion Park, Nowra, Barrack Heights, Unanderra, Kiama, Dapto and Berkeley.

Southern Region Police Association of NSW executive member Jason Hogan said that although there was a "good local liquor accord operating" in Wollongong, police needed to remain vigilant.

"History has shown that our area has had a prevalence with alcohol-fuelled violence that I don't want to see again," he said.

"At all levels of government, community and industry, we need to keep working together to ensure those that wish to go out and enjoy their night out do so and get home without being assaulted."

Detective Hogan said an "unsustainable" number of police were used to keep the peace during New Year's Eve celebrations in Wollongong.

"There was a huge and unsustainable level of policing numbers that went into ensuring that there were no major incidents within our area over this period," he said.

"There is a good local liquor accord operating within the area. But without the extreme numbers of police that we saw on the street, no level of planning or liquor accords can ensure the safety of those that set out for a good time within our licensed premises precinct."

He said the Newcastle model had been proven effective in reducing alcohol-fuelled violence, and the Wollongong community deserved to trial any model that could lead to fewer assaults.

Wollongong police were approached by the Mercury but chose not to comment.

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