By Ian Neubauer
Glassings in NSW have seen only marginal increase over the past few years despite a stream of media reports that suggest glasses have become the ‘weapon of choice’ for violent drunks in pubs.
Data collected by the state’s Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) shows glassing reported to police increased by less than five per cent between the 2007 and 2008 financial years; and decreased by one per cent between 2006 and 2007, the last two calendar years for which data has been gathered.
Figures dating back to 2003 show glassings in the state have increased by 20 per cent over the five-year period, but includes domestic violence in which glasses were used to cause harm.
However, the highly visual and damaging impact of glass attacks that mostly strike victims in the face or head is leaving the public aghast, with increasing calls to implement plastic-only policies in pubs and clubs.
A number of licensees across Australia have elected to remove glasses from their premises to avoid possibly injury. However, many believe a compulsory policy would fail to take into account that glassings are statistically prevalent in certain types of venues and geographic locations.
Critics add that the removal of glasses would also leave the way open for offenders to use stubbies and wine bottles as weapons.
The AHA supports any member hotel that voluntarily chooses to use plastic moulded cups instead of glass, but insists the concept would be undermined if enforced in lieu of industry consultation.
“What we don’t want is to see these things become generic solutions for problems that don’t exist in some places,” said AHA chief executive, Bill Healey.
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