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Alcohol related violence in Canberra

By Special G 26 February 2013 69

After watching the Four corners – Punch drunk episode last night I was thinking that what they pictured was fairly consistent with nightlife in the ACT.

Some information and statistics on the Newcastle study on lockouts and trading restrictions can be found here.

Personally I’ve seen; drunk people passed out in the gutter vomitting on themselves, people knocked out, spat on, cut, glassed, mob bashed and brawls spilling out onto the street. And amongst all of this are the Police and Ambulance officers having to deal with it.

I’ve generally maintained that nothing good happens in Civic after 1am.

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Alcohol related violence in Canberra
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slashdot 10:21 pm 27 Feb 13

Special G said :

Mr Flippant.

Crime stats can be found here …http://www.police.act.gov.au/crime-and-safety/crime-statistics.aspx

Easy enough to do a search back to 2008 data. So I did a snappy search based on assaults just in the City.

2008 – 358
2009 – 327
2010 – 371
2011 – 367
2012 – 371

Certainly not a decline and if anything staying fairly constant. Which means in the City there is a little more than one assault every day. Given most of the other town centers have a bunch more assaults registered against them but nothing like the CBD (200+ more).

You failed to take into account the population growth. If the numerator stays the same and the denominator gets bigger then the value is falling

Flippant 9:10 pm 27 Feb 13

@ Special G

The link below is a media release from Minister Corbell today…

http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/open_government/inform/act_government_media_releases/corbell/2013/crime_statistics_act

“These results also highlight the strong partnership between ACT Policing and agencies such as the Office of Regulatory Services and it is clear that this is positively impacting on alcohol related violence in public places. The profile also showed significant decreases in assaults (down 12%), weapons offences (down 10%) and sexual offences (down 8%).”

Maybe we have uncovered another data doctoring scandal!

Special G 8:27 pm 27 Feb 13

Mr Flippant.

Crime stats can be found here …http://www.police.act.gov.au/crime-and-safety/crime-statistics.aspx

Easy enough to do a search back to 2008 data. So I did a snappy search based on assaults just in the City.

2008 – 358
2009 – 327
2010 – 371
2011 – 367
2012 – 371

Certainly not a decline and if anything staying fairly constant. Which means in the City there is a little more than one assault every day. Given most of the other town centers have a bunch more assaults registered against them but nothing like the CBD (200+ more).

I had a look at the article based on youths drinking ages between 12-17 and it seems to be on a slight decline – 3%.

The Newcastle study has shown drops of 30% in assaults and hospital admissions. People can still drink, just they can do it more responsibly.

I have nothing to do with the anti-alcohol lobby, just worked in and around the city for long enough to know when it turns to poo. By all means make some sensible suggestions to making it actually safe to go out drinking in the City and some changes which may make responsible service of alcohol a reality because the current system is clearly not working.

Matt_Watts 2:54 pm 27 Feb 13

“@ Matt_Watts You make some sound arguments. Also alcohol related incidents are highest in the vicinity of licensed venues however the second largest is the home. So it is very much about individuals responsibility and alcohol misuse.”

Thanks.

Regarding the first point regarding the vicinity of licensed venues, this aligns with what I said about policing being able to record incidents when they are actually on patrol AND the point regarding clustering of drinkers in Civic late at night with no quick way home.

Regarding home violence, this is another reason why I support small venues who are able to provide alcohol in line with RSA. That is, when small venues close (as is the pattern), people will either head into Civic or drink at home.

Flippant 2:36 pm 27 Feb 13

@ Special G… Alcohol related incidents and crime are on a significant decline in the ACT and we are far from having comparisons drawn with Newcastle. Police data will support this and the Minister has used this as an indication of the success of the new liquor laws.

It is interesting you have mentioned 1 am as this is a more recent push by the anti-alcohol lobby which purports this is the solution for the night time economy. Canberra is the capital city of Australia and we are yet to reach our potential. Shutting us down at one is a backward simplistic view.

@ Matt_Watts You make some sound arguments. Also alcohol related incidents are highest in the vicinity of licensed venues however the second largest is the home. So it is very much about individuals responsibility and alcohol misuse.

@ Holden Caulfield To debate whether there is denial or there isn’t does not preclude what is actually happening. Alcohol consumption is on the decline and young peoples attitudes to drinking are shifting. This article speaks to a study that was commissioned by Dept of Health and Ageing and of nearly 25,000 students recently.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/teen-study-cheers-on-brewers-20130210-2e6kk.html

@ Aldernay Agreed the AHA NSW CEO did the alcohol industry no favours. However that said here is a Victoria’s reducing alcohol and drug toll plan.

http://docs.health.vic.gov.au/docs/doc/Reducing-the-alcohol-and-drug-toll:-Victoria%27s-plan-2013%E2%80%932017–Strategy

Interestingly contained in this is a graph that shows a very obvious upswing in drug use from 2007 after years of decline. I can only speculate but a lot of new liquor laws and increased taxation have come to play since that time. Could there be a shift… as alcohol is demonised and made less accessible through cost measures are people turning to other inebriates? Just a thought.

Police incident reporting on alcohol related crime is an assessment of sobriety… questions are asked of offenders. I’m not certain this extends to drugs nor would I be confident if inebriated and asked I would say yes I am under the influence of drugs and not alcohol.

@ P1 Liquor licenses do increase exponentially in the ACT. ACT liquor licences are amongst the most expensive in Australia.

A 5am trading ACT nightclub pays $24,000 (351+ capacity) vs about $18,000
A 5am trading ACT club pays $16,000 (351+ capacity) vs about $3,500
A 5am trading ACT bar pays $16,000 (351+ capacity) vs about $4,000

So before we go slamming the industry in Canberra they pay more than their fair share and have been pitted against each other because of the ACT Governments $3 million recovery cost. In the city there are about ten venues carrying $230,000 of this cost out of the total 640 venues. Last time I also checked you will be lucky to find more than five venues that have a 5am trading licence because of its cost.

@ Ben_Dover CYMRU AM BYTH!

And since I’ve gone to this effort hopefully some of you will read these responses… particularly Special G!

harryhaller 11:30 am 27 Feb 13

bundah said :

harryhaller said :

Like many others here I do not think that alcohol is the problem, but d*heads are. What the people in that show confused is correlation and causality: just because the dickheads prefer to strike when they drink, doesn’t mean it was the alcohol that made them do it. Other countries such as Germany have an even greater alcohol consumption than Australia, yet no problem with drunken street violence. We need to clamp down on antisocial behaviour, and not on pubs.

Are you absolutely sure about that?

http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100201-24949.html

Fairly sure, I lived there for 30 years until recently. Not to say that drunken violence doesn’t exist, but it’s nowhere near as bad as here, sorry to say that.

bundah 10:12 am 27 Feb 13

DrKoresh said :

bundah said :

Mind you the doctors and nurses in ED’s will tell you that they’re absolutely fed up with young binge drinkers and the victims of brutal assaults they treat.

Sometimes I feel like they should just get over it and do their jobs. I understand that it must be incredibly frustrating, but it results in a lot of nurses and doctors treating individual patients badly. It’s worse with suicide attempts and the like, the healthcare staff often make loaded assumptions about patients coming in for treatment. Things like resenting victims of assault, to use one of your examples, isn’t a healthy attitude to take.

My ICU nurse friend says it’s not resentment they feel but more a sense of disappointment and frustration that people are constantly subjecting themselves to this type of stupidity.

DrKoresh 9:56 am 27 Feb 13

bundah said :

Mind you the doctors and nurses in ED’s will tell you that they’re absolutely fed up with young binge drinkers and the victims of brutal assaults they treat.

Sometimes I feel like they should just get over it and do their jobs. I understand that it must be incredibly frustrating, but it results in a lot of nurses and doctors treating individual patients badly. It’s worse with suicide attempts and the like, the healthcare staff often make loaded assumptions about patients coming in for treatment. Things like resenting victims of assault, to use one of your examples, isn’t a healthy attitude to take.

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