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Green plans to clean up the Nightlife

By johnboy - 14 September 2009 32

The Greens’ MLA Shane Rattenbury has announced the release of a discussion paper on reducing alcohol related violence.

Shane lists the key points of his plan as:

    — mandatory Responsible Service of Alcohol training to better equip staff to safely serve customers
    — revision of the existing licensing fee structure to recover the cost of carrying out venue inspections from licensees
    — a voluntary Liquor Accord system to provide licensees with financial incentives to adopt proven violence reduction strategies within venues
    — legislation to prohibit irresponsible drink pricing
    — improved lighting of public spaces and better night time public transport to foster a sense of security.

As I rarely frequent Mooseheads these days I’m curious as to what others think about alcohol related violence, but here are some points on how I recall it working:

    1. If you’re not being a cock it’s amazing how little violence will occur.
    Apologise when you bump into someone, get them another drink if you spill one. If you’re not going around groping girls you don’t know, well it’s almost impossible to grope someone’s girlfriend.

    2. Walking away works well too.
    Somedays you’ll just get someone’s back up or vice versa. Just going to another bar beats the hell out of getting angry and drunk.

    3. Mean arseholes are mean arseholes with or without beer.
    The sort of people who gang up to beat up a stranger have not been magically transformed into wankers by the demon drink, they were bastard coated bastards right from the start. Keeping them happily leering at the bottle blondes in the bar who wear too much spray tan and not enough lycra is probably safer for the public in general than turfing them out onto the street. More custodial sentences for assaults probably wouldn’t hurt either.

People who keep to points 1 and 2 rarely have much trouble in my experience (but I’m happy to be contradicted by our many readers who have to work in Civic at night). It concerns me that the trouble caused by people (usually men) of the point 3 disposition could actually be made worse by some of these proposals.

I’ve also got some concerns that any scheme which imposes penalties on bars where violence occurs could encourage security staff to engage in cover ups.

More lighting and better after hours public transport is, however, something I think we can all get behind.

Anyway it’s a discussion paper at this point, which means they’re looking for your thoughts on the issues.

Alcohol related violence in Canberra

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32 Responses to
Green plans to clean up the Nightlife
ahappychappy 4:56 pm 14 Sep 09

junkett said :

Those who don’t like getting tackled don’t play rugby.
Those who don’t like night club violence shouldn’t go to the night club districts.
Sad, but with Labor in cahoots with the hoteliers, the laws are never going to be tightened.
And then we have comments like those from ahappychappy who are always happy to shift the blame to the plods. I’m guessing they stand on a corner because there’s not enough of them to cover the whole area. They don’t have a crystal ball. I guess wherever they stand is most central place to run off from and save the bogans who don’t really deserve saving once they know what’s going on!

Wow, who would’ve thought the “blame the Labor government” arguement would come out with this one… is it Labor government’s fault that it rains too?

I do agree with your first point about rugby, by going to the city on a Saturday night then you have to accept you’ll see the ugly side eventually.

However, I’m not blaming the Police (they do the best they can with what they have). I’m saying the lack of repercussions/punishment for the offences/offenders is the issue. As AG said, we always hear of these “drunken assaults” yet never hear of the sentences/fines handed out to those who commit the crimes. You can make your mind up as to whether that is because: a) they don’t ever get caught; or b) they get caught then get a slap on the wrist for their troubles. Whilst ever you have such lenient and “greeny, human rights even though they hardly deserve it” minded legislation it will ALWAYS get taken advantage of – They know they can get away with it, so they really don’t care.

dvaey 4:50 pm 14 Sep 09

Special G said :

There is not that much ice being taken be average joe punters. Throw a generous serve of alcohol and some pills into the mix and see what you get.

Slightly off-topic, but ‘pills’ arent known as the love/hug-drug for no reason. People on pills and alcohol are more likely to give a stranger a hug than a king-hit, and those on pot are likely to just sit in the corner with their quiet drink. Ice and other harder drugs on the other hand, I agree with you that they can create situations that can get out of hand too easily.

PBO 4:30 pm 14 Sep 09

AG Canberra said :

There are no consequences (and little chance of being caught) – when was the last person jailed for a king hit in Canberra? Sort out this little issue and we’ll all be enjoying ourselves in licenced establishments for centuries to come.

I think that it was Bangin Ben Edwards out the front of King O’Omalleys and he got a 9 month sentence.

AG Canberra 4:20 pm 14 Sep 09

There are no consequences (and little chance of being caught) – when was the last person jailed for a king hit in Canberra? Sort out this little issue and we’ll all be enjoying ourselves in licenced establishments for centuries to come.

PBO 2:55 pm 14 Sep 09

pierce said :

I think it might be Ice that is making these people more aggressive too.

I think that the combination of alcohol and people not wanting to lose face infront of each other is more likely the culprit than ice. However i wont say that ice related crime does not happen in Civic as it happened a lot when i was doing security there (a man getting hand cut in half in front of Ali Baba’s for selling a shitty deal springs to mind).

We should not blame drugs or alcohol for the problems as it is the people who take them who cause the issues.

The Brad 2:52 pm 14 Sep 09

And if you do walk away, walk away backwards. I found out from experience the hard way, that walking away from an angry drunk who wants a fight is stupid, and deserves a kinghit from behind. Watch your back.

I’m glad that was in the 90’s, and I only ended up with a broken nose (I still don’t understand how he managed that trick from behind). These days, I’d have gotten a few kicks in the head as well.

Special G 2:44 pm 14 Sep 09

There is not that much ice being taken be average joe punters. Throw a generous serve of alcohol and some pills into the mix and see what you get.

Some other jurisdictions have some great legislation particularly in relation to street offences – disorderly conduct, melees etc. In the ACT it is probably against their human rights to start looking at some of those options.

junkett 2:15 pm 14 Sep 09

Those who don’t like getting tackled don’t play rugby.
Those who don’t like night club violence shouldn’t go to the night club districts.
Sad, but with Labor in cahoots with the hoteliers, the laws are never going to be tightened.
And then we have comments like those from ahappychappy who are always happy to shift the blame to the plods. I’m guessing they stand on a corner because there’s not enough of them to cover the whole area. They don’t have a crystal ball. I guess wherever they stand is most central place to run off from and save the bogans who don’t really deserve saving once they know what’s going on!

pierce 2:06 pm 14 Sep 09

I think it might be Ice that is making these people more aggressive too.

ahappychappy 1:42 pm 14 Sep 09

Seriously, the way to “curb” alcohol fuelled violence is make the repercussions for the perpetrator the deterrant and put more visible Police (that don’t just stand on a corner) in the city at night.
Out of the hundreds of times I’ve witnessed fights in the city (some worse than others) I could count on my hand the amount of times Police attended and actually made a difference.

If the altercation occurs within a club/pub then usually, the club/pub security throws the offenders out (sometimes with a bit of roughing up) and that’s that. There are no repercussions if this happens… all it means is the offenders go to a different pub to start trouble and are free to return to the club/pub the next weekend.
If the altercation occurs outside of a club/pub then usually the Police are nowhere to be seen, and if they do attend they arrive well after everyone of interest has cleared out and left…

Until people are punished for the sort of behaviour that is seen every weekend in Civic the behaviour will continue. That said, you can take the alcohol away from the wankers that frequent Civic at night looking for trouble and only trouble, but they’ll just be sober wankers looking for trouble.

Clown Killer 1:25 pm 14 Sep 09

Going to outlaw people buying drinks for friends are we?

I have a vague feeling it’s already against the law JB.

I think that the RSA requirements are a bit of a joke really. It’d be a commercially brave decision for some of these places to start applying the rules that they are obliged to adhere to.

johnboy 1:15 pm 14 Sep 09

peterh said :

How long till the establishments start actually following the letter of the law and cease serving someone who is inebriated (sp) – prior to the chance of that drunk becoming far more pickled and violent?

Going to outlaw people buying drinks for friends are we?

RSA’s probably do more good than harm, but they’re pretty limited in that good.

People choose to go to bars where there are a lot of fights. Perhaps more transparent reporting of incidents is the answer.

I’d love to run a league table…

peterh 1:12 pm 14 Sep 09

How long till the establishments start actually following the letter of the law and cease serving someone who is inebriated (sp) – prior to the chance of that drunk becoming far more pickled and violent?

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 12:57 pm 14 Sep 09

Live by Rule#1, and you’ll rarely have an issue.

kingzac 12:27 pm 14 Sep 09

Some people are just idiots and go out looking for trouble.

A few weeks ago we were walking along in not far from mooseheads at about midnight on a Thursday night. A guy in about his early twenties walked between the three of us and gave a little flinch to my mate who didnt budge and jsut said ‘yeh, nice one buddy’ and kept walking.
The guy then yeleld out and started shaping up to get his punch on. My mate told him he was being an idiot so the guy slapped him. After that we just walked away leaving this idiot looking very dejected.

Just goes to show how dumb some of these idiots can be.

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