Revellers congregate across the city

January 03, 2018

The midnight fireworks from Ruckers Hill in Northcote during New Year's Eve celebrations in Melbourne, yesterday. Picture: AAP

More than 230 people were arrested in Victoria as crowds flocked to Melbourne to welcome in 2018 beneath a 14-tonne fireworks extravaganza across the city.

Police arrested 238 people overnight, including 99 arrests for being drunk and 23 reported assaults.

While the total number of arrests was higher than New Year’s Eve 2016, when 183 people were arrested, police are pleased with how the evening unfolded.

‘‘Generally, we saw great behaviour by the crowds overnight, which was encouraging,’’ Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.

‘‘There were a small number of people who did the wrong thing but they were dealt with by police so they didn’t spoil it for others.’’

Among the arrests were 22 drug-related offences and seven behavioural offences.

Hundreds of thousands of revellers filled Treasury Gardens, Kings Domain, Docklands and Flagstaff Gardens for free entertainment on Sunday, hours before fireworks lit the sky.

The multi-million-dollar show erupted across 22 city buildings for 10 minutes and could be seen anywhere with a view of the city skyline.

Revellers were not deterred by security fears despite the celebrations 10 days after a fatal vehicle attack near Flinders St Station.

In November, a Werribee man was charged for allegedly plotting a New Year’s Eve terror attack including Federation Square.

‘‘The extensive preparations Victoria Police put in place for New Year’s Eve ensured those who came into the Melbourne CBD and visited our coasts could celebrate safely,’’ the deputy commissioner said.

Outside the city, three men were injured by illegal fireworks, including one who was seriously injured after a firework exploded in his hand.

Two other men were also injured in separate firework incidents in Melton and St Leonards.

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