By Annette Shailer

Bar Guardians is set to introduce its Safer Bars program in Australia – an initiative it claims is proven to reduce alcohol-related violence in licensed premises by almost 30 percent.

Bar Guardians has been licensed to deliver to Australia the Safer Bars program, which was developed in Canada.

Safer Bars is a comprehensive and evaluated training course for the hospitality industry developed and proven to reduce the incidence of aggression, violence and injuries in licensed premises by 28 percent.

The core of the Safer Bars philosophy is the importance of training venue staff in the prevention and management of aggression and other problem behaviour.

Safer Bars was developed over five years in consultation with bar owners, staff, police, lawyers, community health professionals, civic leaders and liquor licensing officials.

To assess the effectiveness of Safer Bars, an outcome evaluation was conducted over 30 venues between 2000 and 2003 funded by the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

It was found there was a decrease of 28 per cent in moderate to severe aggression in venues following the Safer Bars program – while the control bars that hadn’t taken part in the training showed an increase in aggression over the same period.

The Safer Bars format is a three-hour training session covering six areas relating to preventing aggression and managing problem behaviour within a venue.

Bar Guardians MD, Chris Callen, said that the Australian hospitality industry should be looking at ways to reduce alcohol-related violence and acknowledge that it is the venue that can make the difference.

“The missing link is the hospitality industry’s need to address ways to remedy the problem by understanding the factors contributing to violence in the venue, training staff, examining the layout of the venue and having clear systems and procedures in place,” he said.


The Shout Team

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

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