Take stand against violence

REGIONAL communities need to get tough on alcohol-related violence.

That’s the message from the Police Association, which says the problem isn’t just confined to hotspots like Kings Cross, Manly and Newcastle.

Police Association president Scott Weber urged councils at their annual conference in Albury this week to take a stand against the “powerful hotels lobby” for the health and safety of their local communities.

“Alcohol-related violence ... is a problem that police have to deal with all over NSW, which is why police and other emergency service workers have come together to form the Last Drinks coalition,” he said.

“It’s encouraging that a lot of councils around the state have already taken a stand against alcohol-related violence and restrictions are in place and are working.

“Emergency service workers right around the state would like to see measures introduced that can be applied to all licensed premises.”

Mr Weber said the Police Association rejected plans by Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell to pilot sober-up centres.

“This idea of sober-up centres will do nothing to reduce alcohol-related violence – all it will do is clean up the mess afterwards,” he said.

“It’s disappointing that all sides of politics are pandering to the hotels lobby and ignoring the reality on our streets rather than introducing preventative measures to stop violence happening in the first place.

“What we would like to see is solutions that limit the sale of shots and hard liquor, earlier closing times and 1am lockouts.

“These are proven measures that have reduced alcohol-related assaults wherever they are introduced.”

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