By Clyde Mooney – editor Australian Hotelier

Figures released by the NSW Bureau of Statistics, Crime & Research (BOCSAR) point to significant reductions in violence in venues, with industry citing better preventative practice.

BOCSAR reports that the number of assaults on licensed premises fell 23.7 per cent between January 2007 and December 2012, but admitted reporting may have been compromised amid venue fears of license restrictions or loss under NSW’ disciplinary schemes.

The Bureau tested the validity of the figures by analysing 1600 randomly selected incidents from the period, finding “no statistical significance” in the rate of reporting by staff at venues with recognised violence history versus those without.

AHA NSW director of policing and regulations John Green told TheShout measures involving operators and authorities are having the desired effect.

“From our point of view, the BOCSAR report confirms what we know – that staff continue to report incidents and work closely with police.

“And if you consider assaults in and around licensed premises are now at their lowest level in over 15 years, it demonstrates that licensees are working with police to reduce violence in and around venues.”

The precinct most thwarted by the increased focus on anti-social behaviour, Kings Cross, has seen significant changes, which CEO of the Kings Cross Liquor Accord Doug Grand says have made a big difference.

"In regards to the new measures in Kings Cross one of the main issues was the lack of late night transport options to allow late night patrons to leave the area,” said Grand.

“The major improvement under the Kings Cross Plan of Management has been the improved operation to the late night secure taxi rank in Bayswater Road and additional late night buses.

“This, along with a higher visibility police presence, and a collaborative focus between venues and Government, is having a positive effect in driving down anti-social behaviour."

This BOCSAR report comes on the back of the latest list of NSW’ most violent venues released in March, which featured the fewest venues since the program began. 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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