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Pub assaults plummet

Wednesday, 5th December, 2018

AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green with Broken Hill Liquor Accord’s president Karren Howe and treasurer Dean Trengove ahead of their meeting yesterday. PICTURE: Emily McInerney AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green with Broken Hill Liquor Accord’s president Karren Howe and treasurer Dean Trengove ahead of their meeting yesterday. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

In the last seven years, assault rates at licensed premises have dropped by over half in the region.

According to the latest figures released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), assault rates at licensed premises in Broken Hill and surrounding districts have dropped by more than half in the last seven years. 

During a visit to the city yesterday, AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green said the number of non-domestic assaults on licensed premises in the area had dropped by 63 per cent since 2011.

He said everyone deserves the credit.

“Licensed premises in the Broken Hill area should be proud of this reduction in assault figures,” Mr Green said.

“These outstanding figures demonstrate licensed premises, working collaboratively with police and the community through a strong accord, can achieve a safer community without stringent conditions.”

Mr Green met with hoteliers at The Palace Hotel yesterday and congratulated them on the impressive results.

Prior to the AHA NSW Sub-Branch meeting, he presented to the local liquor accord on successful strategies from other areas including “Barred from one, Barred from all”.

“I am here for a sub-branch meeting, but I’m also presenting to the Broken Hill Liquor Accord a range of strategies they can implement to work with their current measures.

“Hotels and clubs in Broken Hill work really well together and have for an extended time.”

Mr Green said hotels and pubs have a strong stance with RSAs and ensuring patrons are away of their rules.

“The new strategy coming to venues is the barring of patrons across the board.

“They are also looking at implementing ‘Ask for Angela’.”

Ask for Angela is an international campaign being introduced to promote safety in licensed venues. If a patron feels unsafe, they can discretely ask the staff for ‘Angela’.

This simple code word alerts venue staff that the person requires assistance. The staff can then follow their own procedures to help the person appropriately and respectfully.

“This is an extension of what many local clubs and pubs do anyway,” Mr Green said.

“We want to let people know that licensed premises are a safe place and staff have your back.”

One area of concern across the state was the rise in drug use, up 160 per cent.

“The concerns are increasing and it’s not just drug usage but for hospitalisations as well.

“Licensed venues are well aware of it.

“We’ve got our alcohol related assaults and anti-social behaviour improving and now we are seeing rises in drug usage.

“It’s a challenge that licensed venues are working through.”

Mulga Hill Tavern publican Dean Trengove said he had seen increased drug usage for many years.

“It’s good to see the authorities and regulatory powers recognise it.

“A lot of hoteliers talk about it, because we are dealing with it on our front door.

“You see many different behaviours with different drugs.”

Mr Trengove said information sharing between licensees in Broken Hill had made it easier to identify ‘high risk patrons’.

“The accord, and Sub-Branch have implemented a range of strategies over the years to ensure our venues are safe, and young people caught using fake IDs are held accountable for their actions,” he said.

“Locally we have been raising the prevalence of fake and borrowed IDs.

“There are penalties within each venue, in our bar anyone caught with a fake or borrowed ID is banned until they are 19.

“If anyone lends an ID they are barred indefinitely.”

Soon phone licenses will be implemented which aims to cut down on people using fake IDs.

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