State security targets violence

BEEFED-UP security at extra taxi ranks will help NSW help police crack down on alcohol-fuelled violence at trouble spots.

Premier Kristina Keneally launched a new program called Hassle Free Nights in Sydney yesterday and it is hope the move will have a positive effect across the whole State.

The plan includes extra training for security and bar staff, new liquor licensing accords and tighter regulations on party boats, party buses and karaoke bars.

“NSW has some of the best places to go out and have a good time,” Ms Keneally said.

“But we want to make sure they’re also the safest.”

She dismissed suggestions that heavy lobbying from the hotel industry had succeeded in preventing the 1am venue lock-out adopted in Newcastle being extended to Sydney.

“(A blanket lockout) is an approach that misunderstands the nuances between different communities,” she said.

Police Minister Michael Daley told reporters the action plan was not an attack on the alcohol and hospitality industries.

“This is not about turning NSW into the wowser State,” he said.

“If a (lockout) works for Newcastle, that doesn’t mean we’re going to tell everyone in NSW they can’t get a drink after 1am.”



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