The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics & Research has released more key data on crime in the State that includes an impressive 50.6 per cent drop in assault rates around Gosford LGA.

BOCSAR statistics have shown decreases around 50 per cent in pubs and clubs both Gosford and neighbouring Wyong LGA since 2008, to be at their lowest levels since 1995.

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) NSW has championed the results, praising the “hard work of hoteliers, police and local community”.

Interestingly, the latest positives for the hospitality industry fly in the face of dramatic increases in crime in other aspects of society. These same areas have seen a disturbing increase in use/possess amphetamine in the past ten years – up more than 300 per cent, admittedly off a small base.

Further to that, BOCSAR says the State as a whole has experienced increases in a range of crime – most notably the Offence Classification of Dangerous/Negligent Acts, which is up a massive 28.6 per cent.

This Classification involves drug and alcohol misuse that leads to the mistreatment of others – both in domestic environments and in relation to vehicles.

The Bureau states that the increases, which also include sexual assault (up 16.2 per cent), fraud/deception (up 12.8 per cent) and abduction/harassment (up 11.5 per cent) have affected the NSW prison population, which is up around nine per cent across the board.

Gosford and Wyong self-adopted a proactive ‘barred from one, barred from all’ strategy. The previous 12 months has registered a 32 per cent drop in assaults on licensed premises. The precinct-wide bans have been subsequently taken up in various forms by other accords, and unilaterally praised by stakeholders and industry, including the AHA.

AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing, John Green
AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing, John Green

“Rather than shutting venues earlier or locking out law abiding patrons, this strategy targets anti- social people,” said AHA NSW director of liquor & policing, John Green.

“It also sends a strong message to everyone that your own behaviour and that of your mates is what allows you to enter venues. Abuse that and you can spend time on the sidelines.”

The disparity of the falling figures in highly accountable venues and rising figures elsewhere, seems to further bring into question the efficacy of the State Government’s handling of alcohol-related behaviour and its misuse.

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