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Theatre Royal back on violent venues list

Wednesday, 10th December, 2014

By Erica Visser

Police say a local venue has knocked back suggestions on curbing its problem with drunken violence and now it is paying the price.

The Theatre Royal has been once again named as one of the state’s most violent venues after it recorded 12 alcohol-related incidents over a year ending July 2014. 

The venue runs the Night Train club on weekends with a targeted age group of 18 to 30-year-olds.

It previously made the list in 2011 and 2012, but was removed last year after taking measures to reduce the number of assaults, including a lengthy list of barred patrons and a 1am lockout.

Venues with 12 to 18 incidents are classified as “level two” and subject to restrictions including;

* Must stop serving alcohol 30 minutes before closing time

* No glass to be served after midnight

* A 10-minute alcohol sales time-out every half an hour, or active distribution of food and/or water

Australian Hotels Association (AHA) delegate Dean Trengove said that the Theatre Royal had already put in place more measures to combat anti-social behaviour than any other venue in town.

“The venue is run to the best of anyone’s ability. Some of the events are dubious,” he said.

“The licensee’s current event list is trending downwards and it’s highly likely that she won’t remain on the list. 

“Twelve events in 12 months when you are seeing 2000 people go through your venue a month is not a lot.”   

Mr Trengove said that a police crackdown on venues needed to put more onus on the patron.

“The individual responsibility of the patron is sometimes what the police should focus on instead of putting 110 per cent blame on the venue,” he said.

“We’re trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got to work with but invariably some patrons let you down.”

But Barrier LAC Commander Superintendent Murray Reynolds yesterday told the BDT that the venue’s return to the list was not surprising.

“Obviously we are fairly vigilant in our approach to alcohol-related crime and certainly the Theatre Royal has been a place of interest to us,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s any great secret that a lot of incidents that occur in relation to alcohol-related crime occur very late at night. Late night venues run the risk of attracting these types of incidents.”

Supt. Reynolds said that the Theatre Royal had knocked back suggestions from police to reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour.

“We’ve negotiated with the licensee at the Theatre Royal and we’ve put a number of suggestions to them, of which have been rejected so we’re going down the enforcement track,” he said.

“There’s a whole range of things that could be put in place; (for example) involving CCTV and the smoking area out the front.

“...We would say that because there is no dedicated smoking area that people on the footpath between the hours of 1am and 3am can attract incidents of a violent nature.”

Supt. Reynolds agreed that the responsibility of reducing incidents also lay with the patrons.

Nineteen venues across the state were included on this year’s list with Sydney’s fanciest club, The Ivy, the worst offender with 26 reported incidents.

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