Tamworth received some welcome news this week with the city’s Imperial Hotel being removed from the NSW Violent Venues list.
Having earned a place on the list previously is a poor reflection on some patrons rather than the venue operator.
Some people go out, over-indulge and then look for trouble. Unfortunately, in many cases, it is the publican who gets the blame simply because he or she provides the venue.
What is pleasing about the Imperial Hotel’s removal from the list, is that overcoming the issue of problem patrons has been a collaborative effort.
Newcastle has experienced similar problems, but on a bigger scale.
Lockouts and other measures trialled there have been hugely successful. The significant reduction in violence and anti-social behaviour has resulted from hard work by many different people and groups, including publicans and the police.
Tamworth’s success has been achieved on similar grounds. A proactive Tamworth and District
Liquor Accord, and the hard work of the Imperial’s publican and his staff, along with the introduction of strict measures which impose controls on entry and consumption have all produced the outcome everyone was looking for.
The police have had a major role to play as well, working with the hotel to address the issues.
The hotel could have been left on its own to fix the issue, but while it has done most of the heavy lifting, the problem of anti-social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled violence is not confined to its four walls. The industry knows that, and so do the authorities.
Preloading – consuming alcohol before going out – remains a big problem for licensed venues, with some people bordering on intoxication when they arrive at a venue’s door.
A reduction in violence in licensed premises is a good outcome for the community and a pleasing result which bucks the trend of other law and order issues facing the city.