By Ian Neubauer
Police in Victoria have expressed dissapointment over the "poor professional standards" of venue operators in the lead-up to a long weekend blitz that detected criminal offences and licensing breaches in more than half of the venues inspected.
The blitz saw plain-clothed police target high-risk licensed venues as part of Taskforce Razon, a new liquor licensing taskforce that is aiming to drive down alcohol-related crime in the state.
The taskforce detected 31 breaches and offences across 56 Victorian venues between Thursday and Saturday, including six penalty notices, three warnings, 13 incident reports and nine breaches of sections 90 and 95 of Victoria’s Liquor Licensing Act, which refer to the premises themselves.
“Taskforce members have already expressed disappointment with the failure of some venue managers to comply with the conditions of their licences,” said deputy commissioner, Kieran Walshe, in a statement issued to media prior to the long weekend.
“Some venues had many more patrons than their licence permitted. Another had extended the premises without seeking the appropriate approvals, whilst others had a number of heavily intoxicated people inside their venues,” he said.
The statement added that police are making a number of applicants to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have some liquor licences reviewed.
However, police refused to name venues listed for review or at which breaches were detected, claiming suppression was required to safeguard ongoing investigations.
Victorian AHA chief executive, Brian Kearney, said he could not comment on the police report as it was too ambiguous and lacked specifics.
“I am not in a position to respond as we do not know who or what they are talking about,” he said.
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