By Andrew Starke

Two Drink Safe Precincts (DSP) have been hailed as a success by the Queensland State Government and police officials following a three month trial.

Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley and the Townsville CBD have been subjected to extra police patrols, street checks and the establishment of ‘safe zones’, while licensees have had to contend with compliance operations carried out by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR).

Queensland Acting Premier Paul Lucas said an increased police presence was having an impact at one of Brisbane’s busiest entertainment precincts.

“Police undertook an additional 3,749 hours of patrols in Fortitude Valley in the first three months of the Bligh Government’s Drink Safe Precinct (DSP) trial in the area,” Lucas said.

“Drink Safe Precincts are about fostering safe environments where party-goers can have a good time without the risk of alcohol or drug-related violence or antisocial behaviour.”

414 arrests were made in the Fortitude Valley DSP over the period which included 131 for liquor offences, 196 for good order offences, 27 for drug-related offences, one for drink/drug driving and 15 for assault-related offences.

According to government figures, taxis safely transported 114,300 people home from the Fortitude Valley DSP, the Chill Out Zone assisted 323 patrons and distributed more than 10,000 cups of water, and a further 336 patrons were assisted by NightWatch Chaplains.

The OLGR also conducted 37 compliance operations at 26 licensed venues which detected 7 breaches.

Police undertook an additional 1,626 hours of patrols during the first three months of the Drink Safe Precinct trial in the Townsville CBD.

Member for Townsville, Mandy Johnstone, said the results were speaking for themselves just three months into the trial.

“109 arrests were made during the three months including 45 for liquor offences, 37 for good order offences, and one for an assault-related offence,” she said.

“Tip-out powers were exercised 10 times, 169 move-on directions and 55 traffic infringement notices were issued, and five breaches have been detected against licensed premises.

“Police assisted two persons to a place of safety or to a designated rest and recovery area, intervened in and prevented conflict on two occasions and diffused 31 potential incidents through de-escalation.”

Johnstone said in addition to the increased police presence, the two year Drink Safe Precinct trial also includes the establishment of ‘safe zones’, improved transport information and signage, and better on-the-ground coordination between community groups, security, police and licensees.

The OLGR also conducted 31 compliance operations at 24 licensed venues which detected 12 breaches.

The two year Drink Safe Precincts trial forms part of the Bligh Government’s response to the recommendation of the bipartisan Law, Justice and Safety Committee’s inquiry into alcohol-related violence.

Queensland Hotels Association CEO, Justin O’Connor, was not immediately available for comment.

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The Shout Team

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