Tamworth’s lockout laws have been relaxed by half an hour following a 60 per cent reduction in alcohol related crime across the city.
The half an hour change from a 12.30am to a 1am lock-out across all licensed venues was made at Tuesday’s Tamworth and District Liquor Accord meeting, which also saw Ian Dundon replace Nick Weir as Chair.
“It is a probationary 12 month trial that will bring us in line with most other regional venues,” Mr Dundon said.
“It is good news for people who are looking for late night entertainment, particularly leading into Country Music Week.”
The Liquor Accord did seek the approval of the Oxley Local Area Command before making the change, with Acting Commander Jeff Budd giving a glowing report of both patrons and venues since the stricter laws were introduced in December 2013.
“There has been a significant, and magnificent, cultural change since the inception of the conditions in 2013, he said.
“Changes in both the clients, and in the way venues manage their clients.”
That 60 per cent reduction in crime has seen a saving of 2000 police hours a year.
“That is 2000 police hours back into the community, back into property offences, domestic violence and keeping the community safe.”
Both Acting Commander Budd and Mr Dundon credited the ID Scanners, which effectively connect all late night CBD venues together, as the primary reason behind the behavioural changes, and the venues collective ability to manage patrons.
Former chair and The Albert licensee Nick Weir was one of the driving forces behind the scanners, which were “an independent initiative by licensees.”
“The scanners have definitely worked, they help provide a much safer night out for everyone,” Mr Weir said.
“The lock-out changes are a pat on the back to the people of Tamworth.”