By Clyde Mooney
One of Sydney's infamous Tier 1 violent venues has taken a lateral thinking approach to claw its way out of the undesirable list.
Sydney's Coogee Bay Hotel (CBH) has been a high-profile member of the list of venues facing NSW's strictest conditions, courtesy of the 3-strikes system introduced last year.
From December 1, CBH will drop to Tier 2 restrictions, and general manager, Steven Speed, says this is "in no small part thanks to the hotel's updated and innovative RSA process".
Speed told TheShout that in the past year the hotel has taken a less heavy-handed approach to reducing assaults, by implementing solutions put forward by consultancy Modknights RSA.
Modknights owner Sam Coffey told TheShout the company approaches the role of the RSA host in two ways: to assist drinking patrons in moderating their intake, as well as identifying patrons who are approaching intoxication and recommending that they be asked to leave.
"Everyone wants to enjoy themselves in a safe environment," says Coffey. "That's why we are there – to assist the patrons, but also to protect the licence.
"Rather than simply recognising that a patron is approaching intoxication, we begin interaction from the very beginning of the night by introducing ourselves to drinking customers, joining in conversations and basically becoming the 'drinker's friends'.
"Using this approach rather than going in from an authoritarian point of view establishes trust, and also educates patrons on the RSA laws early on."