Banning problem patrons helps Central Coast reduce assaults by 50%

27 April, 2016 by
Danielle Bowling

A ‘barred from one, barred from all’ strategy has helped reduce assaults in the NSW Central Coast region by more than 50 percent, the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has said.

According to John Green, AHA NSW director of liquor and policing, the latest independent statistics from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research shows assault rates at pubs and clubs in the Gosford Local Government Area (LGA) are at their lowest since 1995, down 50.6 percent since 2008.

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Assault rates at pubs and clubs in the neighbouring  Wyong Local Government Area are also at their lowest on record – down 49.3 percent since 2008.

In the last 12 months, assaults on licensed premises across the Central Coast have dropped by 32 percent.

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However, drug use in the region has skyrocketed, with incidents of use and possession of amphetamines up 333 percent in the Gosford LGA and 371 percent in the Wyong LGA since 2005.

Green credits the reduction in violence to – amongst other things – the voluntary ‘barred from one, barred from all’ strategy.

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“This strategy sees patrons committing violence barred from all participating premises in the liquor accord,” he said.

“Rather than shutting venues earlier or locking out law abiding patrons, this strategy targets anti-social people. It also sends a strong message to everyone that your own behaviour and that of your mates is what allows you to enter venues. Abuse that and you can spend time on the sidelines.”

Back in 2014, the NSW government imposed trading restrictions on licensed venues in Kings Cross and the CBD, the effectiveness of which is currently being assessed by the Callinan Review.