By ERWIN CHLANDA
The NT Government is further increasing its support for the liquor industry.
Police Minister Nicole Manison announced that an Alcohol Policing Unit (APU) of 97 members, including the recently created armed Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors, “will tackle alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour and crime head on”.
The auxiliaries’ job essentially is to assist, at public expense, liquor sellers with their obligation of not selling booze to people who are by law prohibited from buying it.
And now, Minister Manison announces, there is the Alcohol Secure Grants Program, making available $10,000 for “liquor security works” without co-contribution, or $10,000 plus a dollar for dollar co-contribution of up to another $10,000 (so $30,000 of security will attract a $20,000 grant from NT Government).
That program does not apply to other businesses broken into by people affected by alcohol abuse, and will no doubt contribute further to the prevalence of roller doors and shutters around the town.
“On average, installing security costs a business about $16,000. Under Alcohol Secure, the business would pay only $3,000 and NT Government the remaining $13,000,” calculates Ms Manison, “to create a physical barrier to liquor supplies [including] security windows and doors, internal and external roller doors.
“Subject to the terms and conditions, licensed premises such as restaurants, pubs, clubs, cafes, supermarkets and other liquor retailers are eligible to apply.”
The Minister announced in media statements that Alcohol Secure will support “the ongoing visible policing and targeted campaigns underway, including a focus on tipping out alcohol and being drunk in public places.
“Through overt and covert operations, the APU will focus on compliance of the Licencing Act and secondary supply.”
The government’s “historic 5-point plan to tackle anti-social behaviour” will provide ongoing visible police presence “and targeted campaigns, which includes foot and Segway patrols, mobile caravans, CCTV, marked vans and mounted patrols.
“Visible policing makes people feel safer and sends a loud message that anti-social behaviour and problem drinking will not be tolerated.”
Ms Manison also says her announcements follow the government’s “record $8.9m five-point plan to tackle anti-social behaviour in Darwin and Palmerston”.
PHOTO: Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspector Sam Joseph outside an Alice Springs bottle shop.
By ERWIN CHLANDA