Licensed premises and the Manning-Hastings communities have been congratulated after figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) revealed a significant reduction in assaults at venues.
Australian Hotels Association (AHA) NSW liquor and policing director John Green visited Taree on Tuesday, May 8 to announce that assaults have dropped by 53 per cent since 2009 across the Taree and Port Macquarie areas.
Mr Green said the rate is the lowest on record and has continued to fall (in particular since 2014).
"It identifies that licencees in the past 10 years have really taken their role seriously, they've worked closely with local police,” Mr Green said.
He said cooperation and vigilance shown by licensed premises and the community has driven the reduction in incidents.
“They (licensees) have set clear rules to enforce that anyone who wants to play up can go somewhere else.
“That has had an impact on violence at licensed venue – people know that if they play up, they've got nowhere to go.
“The community is to be congratulated as well, they're starting to work out what their behavioral expectations are,” Mr Green said.
It was also revealed that the Mid North Coast area (Kempsey and Coffs Harbour) has welcomed a 42 per cent reduction in assaults at licensed premises since 2010.
He said during large events such as Anzac Day and sports related celebrations, alcohol fueled assaults can be prevalent.
“It’s then about groups of mates looking after each other,” Mr Green said.
"If you see someone starting to act up, then it’s your job as a mate to look after them to make sure you're the one pulling them into line rather than the licensees, their security or police.”
In the coming months, Mr Green will work with NSW Police to tackle another important issue- illicit drug use at licensed venues.
“We’ll develop a drugs in licensed premises lecture that identifies what to look for in terms of behaviour, affectation and what the drugs look like,” Mr Green said.
"It just means staff can start to identify what the behaviour looks like and intervene early.
“If they suspect someone is dealing or using illicit drugs, then they are removed from the venue and barred from that venue immediately.”