Alcohol, cause or effect?
The police in town are excellent and do a great job. So why is crime and antisocial behaviour on the increase?
I do not believe alcohol is the only cause.
In Katherine we have at least eight measures to regulate and control alcohol sales.
In addition to the national requirements of licencing of premises and training of staff in responsible service of alcohol, Katherine has six extra measures in place: reduced opening hours, reduction in cask and fortified wine, the BDR, increased floor prices, licence inspectors, and now liquor inspectors.
None have worked, but all the restrictions remain in place.
I have looked at international data and do not think that we have a larger percentage of people that binge drink or have an alcohol use disorder compared to other countries.
I spent a couple of days at the Taste of Tasmania in Hobart in December where alcohol was readily available, and consumed in sizeable quantities. I did not witness a single act of bad behaviour or violence.
Let’s face it, alcohol is not the only cause of crime and antisocial behaviour.
It is a product of society and perpetrated by individuals.
I suggest the Government take a good look at the other causes of antisocial and criminal behaviour and deal with those with as much vigour and funding as restricting alcohol sales.
The police on the beat put themselves at great risk to maintain law and order and protect the community.
At times they are verbally abused, spat at, punched, kicked and bitten in order to apprehend an offender. There is endless paperwork, and every action is scrutinised.
If there is any hint of applying “undue force” they are criticised publicly and may even lose their job and their future.
Then the apprehended individual appears in front of a judge, backed by lawyers in a clean and safe environment, and justice for the community ends there.
The Government needs to look at the legal system and the appropriate punishment of those individuals that commit crime with a focus on protection of the community. Help the police do their job, please.
Placing alcohol restrictions on the whole of the population to prevent the crimes of the few is not logical, not cost effective and not working.
Dr P.J. Spafford, Katherine.
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