LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – In the 12 months ending November 30, 2017, alcohol related crime in Alice Springs has sky-rocketed: Alcohol related assaults are up 22.3%, domestic violence assaults are up by 8.1% and house break-ins up by 12.3%.
One of the obvious reasons for these alarming statistics is the reduction of the presence of police outside of bottle shops.
In recent times police have not been routinely stationed outside of any of six suburban bottle shops – Eastside, Northside, Flynn Drive, Ivy’s Milner Road, Piggly’s and Heavitree.
This change in alcohol policy is opening up the Rivers of Grog in Alice Springs like we have not seen for years.
People living within a 500 meter radius of any Alice Springs suburban bottle shop will tell you the difference in their lives between having police outside of bottle shops and not having them.
It is the difference between a safe, peaceful life and a life of fear and worry for the safety of your property and family.
People across Alice Springs have been telling me about the resurgence of drunk and disorderly behaviour around all our bottle shops; the increase in litter including glass bottles; the increase in vandalism and anti-social behaviour; and the increase in people defecating and urinating in public.
In less than 18 months the Gunner Government has taken us back to the bad old days of pre-2011, before the introduction of police outside of bottle shops.
The Banned Drinkers Register is having no impact in Alice Springs. It wasn’t successful in 2011/12 and it won’t be in 2018.
The secondary sale of alcohol killed it last time and it is killing it now. If the police do not have the resources to stand outside of bottle shops, I doubt they have the time to follow people buying grog and ensure they don’t supply it to their mates on the BDR.
Good alcohol policy is critical to our social and economic well-being in Alice Springs. It is time the Gunner Government honoured their 2016 election commitment and fully restores the presence of police outside our bottle shops – the most effective alcohol reduction strategy we have ever seen in Alice Springs.
Robyn Lambley MLA
Independent Member for Araluen
LETTER TO THE EDITOR