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A Christmas present for clubs and pubs

Media Release

22 December 1998

Media release from Senator, the Hon Amanda Vanstone, Minister for Justice and Customs

Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone today released Reducing Violence in Licensed Venues, a Trends and Issues paper from the Australian Institute of Criminology, which outlines practical ways to reduce alcohol related crime and violence in licensed venues.

"Improving the safety of licensed venues is a way to lower the rate of violence directed at young people," Senator Vanstone said.

"In the Christmas holiday period, club and pub owners and managers should ensure that young people can party safely."

"Simple and inexpensive changes to the management and the environment of clubs have been found to reduce physical violence by up to 75 per cent."

The results reported in Reducing Violence in Licensed Venues were obtained by a study of three projects, based in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay. The study was partly funded through the Criminology Research Council.

"As well as decreasing violence, the projects resulted in increases to the overall level of sociability and friendliness, despite increased crowding," Senator Vanstone said.

"The projects were particularly successful in reducing levels of male intoxication, which appears to be a key factor in reducing physical violence."

"Some of the strategies involved reducing the use of gimmicks or promotions that encourage rapid alcohol consumption, providing more food and training staff in methods for handling drunk patrons. The methods used to achieve these remarkable results also included simple improvements to the environment, including improved comfort, and training of security staff. "

"Young men and women aged between 15 and 24 are the age group most likely to be the victim of assault, and young people who go out for entertainment at night, particularly to hotels and clubs, have a higher than average risk of assault."

"Half of all teenage victims are assaulted in leisure and entertainment facilities which they frequent. Many of these places, especially for those aged 18 and over, are licensed venues."

"The report outlines a number of issues for discussion, including the role of external enforcement, the development of a Code of Practice by local club managers, and regulatory structures in Australian liquor licensing."

"Reducing violence and crime is a priority for this Government. Through the National Campaign Against Violence and Crime, and the work of the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Commonwealth is working to achieve a safer society, with the safety of young Australians a particular priority."