By Andrew Starke

Solicitor David Sylvester of Archbold Legal Solutions has launched a stinging attack on the NSW Police Association, accusing the organisation of unfairly targeting publicans and hampering the chance of a workable relationship between the industry and police.

“I see that NSW Police Association President Scott Webber has been ranting and raving about pubs again as a result of the latest brawl in the Rocks,” he told TheShout.

“Apparently all of the anti-social behaviour and public drunkeness being experienced throughout Sydney city is the direct fault of the pub owners and licensees. This guy is clearly out of control.

“His comments quite frankly are outrageous and only serve to inflame the already tenuous relationship that publicans have with the NSW Police. If there was a skeric of truth in his comments (or evidence for that matter), then I'm sure the city licensing Police (or ALEC or OLGR) would have breached the pubs or nightclubs involved.

“Have there been any charges laid or breaches issued to the alleged offending venues? No, not according to my sources anyway. If action hasn't been taken by the police or other agencies, then pubs/licensees are entitled to expect that they are running their venues according to the rules and regulations outlined in the Liquor Act 2007.

“From a legal perspective, it is clear that most pubs and other licenced venues are now going way beyond what they are legally required to do in an effort to control violent and drunken behaviour in and around hotels,” he continued.

Sylvester is of the view that Webber and other senior police officials are forcing stringent licensing conditions on all pubs and nightclubs in Sydney simply because they are struggling to deal with the levels of anti-social behaviour on the streets.

“Again, these comments completely ignore the fact that much of the violence being encountered may be the result of illcit drugs rather than alcohol,” he said. “But the Police can't prove that, so they target the pubs and licensees instead.”

In early August a beer festival at the Lowenbrau Keller bar and restaurant ended in a massive brawl involving more than a hundred people.

This past Saturday (Aug 7) saw Eastern Suburbs Police charging three men after a large brawl outside a hotel in Bondi Junction.

Police believe the brawl started in a hotel in Oxford Street and security staff ejected a large number of people from the venue.
The fight continued outside on the street with between 20 and 60 people involved until the arrival of police.

Police arrested four men as a result of the altercation with one man released a short time later without charge.

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The Shout Team

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

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