By Andrew Starke

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA NSW) has welcomed figures showing that assaults in licensed premises are at an eight year low, but reiterated its call for action to combat rising drug use in the community.

AHA (NSW) CEO Sally Fielke said the latest NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) figures show that pro-active action by the industry is working.

“It’s pleasing to see assaults in licensed premises have now fallen to the lowest levels in eight years,” she said.

“It is important to note that these reductions are occurring right across the State including the CBD, not just in isolated pockets where draconian measures have been imposed.

“This is particularly heartening at a time the Police Union is constantly calling for earlier closing hours.”

However Fielke said the latest BOCSAR figures again showed an alarming upward trend in the use of drugs.

“For the last eight quarters when these figures are released, we are seeing astronomical increases in the drug statistics which only emphasise what licensees have been saying for some time,” she said.

“The figures speak for themselves – possession and/or use of cocaine up 45.4 percent, possession and/or use of cannabis up 32.5 percent, possession and/or use of amphetamines up 33.6 percent and possession and/or use of other drugs up 37.9 percent. Trafficking in other drugs is up 68.2 percent!”

The AHA (NSW) has repeatedly called for more focus to be put on the issue of drug use at licensed premises.

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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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