Pine Rivers Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Survey Results
Thank you to the 850+ people who participated in my recent surveys regarding alcohol-fuelled violence. I conducted the survey in two parts - a doorstop survey, asking the five questions to patrons at Eatons Hill Hotel on a Saturday night (Eatons Hill Hotel was selected because of its popularity as a venue, ensuring a significant number of respondents); and an online survey where respondents had the opportunity to make further comments and suggestions.
Once the results were collated, I met with Premier Newman to discuss the views raised by Pine Rivers residents. The Premier and Cabinet will now consider our responses and feedback as our government determines a strategy to respond to this important issue.
A sample of the comments, that represent some of the most common viewpoints expressed, are as follows:
I think the age for alcohol consumption be raised to at least 21. It is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to take care of the underage and educated them not to drink. They should be punished for supplying alcohol (drug) to underage or encourage them to drink or get drunk, or simply not taking care of them.
The current lockout situation already floods the streets with people at or near 3am. This causes long waits for cabs and late-night snacks, which frustrates people or in some cases makes them downright angry. The majority of fights I've seen in major entertainment precincts happen around this time of night, when people are generally at their drunkest and tempers are running high.
The present punishment is not severe enough to proven guilty parties
I think more arrests and tougher laws be put in place to send a message to young people that alcohol-fuelled violence is not acceptable.
Not taking positive action now, to reduce / eliminate this serious issue, will have lasting detrimental effects on our community.
I don't believe that increasing the legal drinking age will help the situation as most reported violence in the media appears to be those above that age anyway.
Personally I think that the alcohol culture of today is one of excess and binge, and as long as people feel it is necessary to binge on alcohol there will always be the negative side effects of the substance.
All pub/clubs should have scanners to scan licences when you enter, if you are banned/thrown out then you can get flagged on the system so other clubs/pubs know.
Education is paramount in being able to deal with this problem. More needs to be done at a school level and at home.
Education starting in High School about safe drinking and what is and is not acceptable should be considered. The Australian drinking culture encourages binge drinking and going past your limits. Adults that are doing the violent behaviour. Restricting alcohol still won't help the underlying issue of binge culture. Incidents with violence will just happen earlier with earlier lock outs.
Do NOT penalise the whole group for what a minority of aggressive drunks do wrong.
The time is NOW to implement new tougher strategies by sending a clear message to all that violence and unlawful behaviour is unacceptable in this country and that everyone will be held accountable for their actions at all times.
7 days a week I work within clubs and pubs and every single night I'm involved in heated confrontations, aggressive, foul mouthed people of the community effected by drugs/alcohol. One would suggest that earlier closing times and a stronger presence of police would encourage persons to enjoy safely and responsibly.
The government needs to fast-track this issue before any more innocent people are hurt or worse by these 'mindless morons' fuelled by alcohol and/or other mind-altering substances. Make the punishment fit the offence, don't go softly on this one. Also, penalise the parents of minors found guilty of this rotten behaviour, they are guilty also.
People need to learn/be taught to drink responsibly, drink to have fun, not get drunk. Bars need to be disciplined for not enforcing the responsible service of alcohol laws, if they enforced the laws there SHOULD be less drunken violence. People will fight any way, drunken people will be more likely to fight.
Is drug taking along with alcohol consumption a significant factor? Little information seems to be available unfortunately but I seriously wonder about this. The problem only seems to be significant in recent years as drug taking becomes more the norm, prompting this question.
Our own son was punched in a club in the Valley at the beginning of last year. He was not drunk. He was with friends. He was punched by one man. When our son landed on the floor, the man who threw the punch, continued to punch him whilst his friends were kicking him. Our son's friends tried to help but the attackers were very large men who the friends could not stop. The manager of the club intervened. Our son was fortunate to have only suffered major bruising and a broken tooth. He was lucky that the manager took it upon himself to clean our son up. The police were called but the attackers had left. As the club was so dark, the cameras did not pick up any evidence or photos of the men. We are of the same opinion as many people. This violence must be stopped. It is very possible that we could have lost our son. There must be so many near misses. Every parent's nightmare.
Multiple security cameras with good lighting around all car parks and entrances to clubs, hotels and function venues. Placement of police at cab ranks and exits to establishments for the last 2-4 hours of trading and 2 hours after closing. Harsher penalties handed out by the courts with logged drug and alcohol testing of previous offenders on behaviour bonds at police stations on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. This will assist in keeping track of violent offenders’ movements and restrict them.
I am tired of people making excuses for bad behaviour. We do not have to put up with it. People must be made accountable for their actions - penalties must be harsher. People must be made to see and feel the consequences of their actions. We are tired of seeing people get away with murder and being back on the streets after then commit these crimes. People need to be held to account.
I have had close experience with alcohol-fuelled violence and it has shocked me how the 'puncher' has not been made accountable or received any penalties for his crime by authorities. There is a real idea out there that it doesn't really matter how much violence you show on a 'night out' as you get off lightly if not 'scott free'.
The government needs to take a stand on this issue and make some hard decisions which may not be popular to the public but are very necessary for our safety. My children are all in their twenties but don't go to clubs or in the City due to the violence. I would be very happy for your government to start making changes and closing Clubs and Pubs earlier would be a great start. There is no need to have Clubs open to all hours of the morning.
I think it is important to recognise the level of drug use and abuse that goes on in the club scene. Very often the violence is not only alcohol fuelled, there will be meth-amphetamines in the mix also, which obviously is illegal and harder to control access to. So many of the young people being injured are so young that is also makes me think that perhaps lifting the drinking age would help, however I know that would be incredibly unpopular. Maybe more education in high schools about what a punch can actually do to a person?
I would question the belief that alcohol in itself is the major concern. My observation would suggest the mixture of DRUGS and alcohol is the problem. More focus needs to be placed on the availability of DRUGS in the entertainment precincts where the under 30's hang out. Send a strong message to the drug pushers by using drug sniffer dogs at all nightclub venues on a very very regular basis. Even do random drug testing simular to roadside testing. This is a community and society problem that is out of hand and needs great focus to remove this violence from our society.