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What to do with drunks out in public spaces

By 123qwe - 3 October 2008 35

I heard on the radio today that the ACT Ombudsman has released his annual report in regard to complaints for the year 2007/2008. It was mentioned that the majority of complaints received were against ACT Policing, in particular in regard to the processing of persons under the Intoxicated Persons Care and Protection Act.

Should it be a job of the police in the watch house to monitor people that have drunk alcohol to excess?

The way I understand it to work (not having being thrown in the drunk tank myself yet); drunk person goes in to the watch house, sleeps it off, then gets released when the cops are happy for them to walk away and not get run over or mugged. No charges, no court or anything lasting criminal record.

Granted most hospital are being flogged senseless and are under staffed is there another solution where drunken people could be placed?

With the amount of things you hear from people about the cops not turning up to their calls for help, wouldn’t it make sense to relieve them of the job of baby sitting the drunks of Canberra.

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35 Responses to
What to do with drunks out in public spaces
Bungle 6:20 pm 03 Oct 08

Maybe all the cops on here have sent around DMD’s photo on their most wanted list.

I remember years ago crossing Northbourne Ave after a big night – it was daylight. The poppies were all out in a display and as we walked past a guy popped his head out of the flowers, realised where he was, got up and started walking towards the bus interchange.

Maybe we could turn we could have an area, like the middle of Northbourne or Glebe Park, where people can go and sleep it off. You could put a nice bed of flowers down there to keep it comfy.

Hams 5:58 pm 03 Oct 08

That makes me curious what you did for the Police to pick you out of the thousands of people in town, (I am assuming this happened in Civic), to harrass for 10 minutes, and why you didn’t just walk away.
If they weren’t going to arrest you they wouldn’t have chased you if you left.

Deadmandrinking 4:51 pm 03 Oct 08

Hams said :

Deadmandrinking. The Police do try to find alternative ways to get people home rather than taking them to the Watch house. Their are more people that get put in taxis, have the Police find their friends for them, get taken to the Sobering up shelter in Ainslie than their are that end up in the Watch house.
Of course that applies to happy drunks, if you are violent or aggressive you don’t leave the Police many options.
You also have to consider the Police officers duty of care. If the drunk assaults the taxi driver, gets run over or goes home and chokes on his own vomit it will be the last copper who spoke to him that will be found responsible for it.

Never did that with me! Bastards! Didn’t chuck me in the watch-house either. Just harassed me for about 10 mins. Several times this has happened, I might ad.

Granny 4:48 pm 03 Oct 08

I can’t even bear to look!

Woody Mann-Caruso 4:39 pm 03 Oct 08

They should give ’em one of these.

Hams 4:24 pm 03 Oct 08

Deadmandrinking. The Police do try to find alternative ways to get people home rather than taking them to the Watch house. Their are more people that get put in taxis, have the Police find their friends for them, get taken to the Sobering up shelter in Ainslie than their are that end up in the Watch house.
Of course that applies to happy drunks, if you are violent or aggressive you don’t leave the Police many options.
You also have to consider the Police officers duty of care. If the drunk assaults the taxi driver, gets run over or goes home and chokes on his own vomit it will be the last copper who spoke to him that will be found responsible for it.

PsydFX 4:15 pm 03 Oct 08

I think we should just leave drunks to their own devices, who are we to interfere with Darwins Theory!

Having been kept overnight for being slightly intoxicated in public i can say it’s really not that much of a deterrent to not do it again, no one thought less of me for it, most people actually thought it was pretty funny.

The upside of it all was at 3 am when I got picked up it would have cost me $50 to catch a taxi home, but instead I had a nap on a nice plastic mattress, got woken up when it was time to leave, and caught a bus home for $2.

peterh 4:14 pm 03 Oct 08

Deadmandrinking said :

johnboy said :

I think the social stigma of waking up in a cell is important.

But police should, on this matter, be shielded from complaints by the fools they’ve been protecting.

The social victory, dude!

Seriously, it is a necessary thing. People get drunk. Lots of people, even otherwise respectable members of society are influenced by the beer demon that wants to to have a jagerbomb. Look at the politicians in NSW…

I think, though, that the police shouldn’t be shielded from complaints when they’ve assaulted people in custody, such as the case with John Birch. If you’re being a drunk moron, which is perfectly alright (but not on my carpet), you do sometimes need somewhere to sleep it off and keep you from destroying any self-respect you had in the nightclub strip post 3am.

I do reckon though, it might help for the police to establish whether the drunk has a reasonable method of getting home before kicking them in the cells. Maybe ask if they have enough in their wallet for a taxi then escort them to the taxi rank and boot them in one. Or if they’re about 5 minutes from home walking-wise, boot them onwards.

oh, you said kick them in the CELLS…. I read THAT wrong.

Granny 4:14 pm 03 Oct 08

Some of these drunks may have nowhere else to go.

Deadmandrinking 4:08 pm 03 Oct 08

johnboy said :

I think the social stigma of waking up in a cell is important.

But police should, on this matter, be shielded from complaints by the fools they’ve been protecting.

The social victory, dude!

Seriously, it is a necessary thing. People get drunk. Lots of people, even otherwise respectable members of society are influenced by the beer demon that wants to to have a jagerbomb. Look at the politicians in NSW…

I think, though, that the police shouldn’t be shielded from complaints when they’ve assaulted people in custody, such as the case with John Birch. If you’re being a drunk moron, which is perfectly alright (but not on my carpet), you do sometimes need somewhere to sleep it off and keep you from destroying any self-respect you had in the nightclub strip post 3am.

I do reckon though, it might help for the police to establish whether the drunk has a reasonable method of getting home before kicking them in the cells. Maybe ask if they have enough in their wallet for a taxi then escort them to the taxi rank and boot them in one. Or if they’re about 5 minutes from home walking-wise, boot them onwards.

peterh 4:04 pm 03 Oct 08

watch out, Katy will create a drunk tank in TCH, next to the children’s area in the ED….

S4anta 4:01 pm 03 Oct 08

Good call JB. I am sure that police have better things to do than look after people who believe the best result of night out is to either be completely drunk and soil their pants.

Zapruda 4:00 pm 03 Oct 08

Aurelius said :

Maybe the hippies can be delegated to dance them away?

I couldnt agree more Aurelius 🙂

johnboy 3:58 pm 03 Oct 08

I think the social stigma of waking up in a cell is important.

But police should, on this matter, be shielded from complaints by the fools they’ve been protecting.

Aurelius 3:53 pm 03 Oct 08

Maybe the hippies can be delegated to dance them away?

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