Monday, June 21, 2021

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

Tags Watchhouse

Tag: watchhouse

Booze and parties: August 25 crunch time

With the death of Kwementyaye Briscoe in the Alice Springs police watchhouse in January (the image at right was produced in evidence at the inquest), and the recent death of Thomas Kelly in Kings Cross, there is a rapidly increasing public awareness of the fact that Australians have allowed a national drinking culture to escalate into unacceptable levels of alcohol-related violence and self-harm.

Control of booze abuse will be a major issue for the August 25 election, yet neither major party will answer questions whether they get financial support from the alcohol industry and if so, how much.

Campaign donation figures available to the public are often from companies or donors whose connections to the liquor industry are not clear, but neither Opposition Leader Terry Mills nor Chief Minister Paul Henderson will provide explanations.

Take-away is where the money is (70% of alcohol sold in the NT is take-away). Agitating for take-away sales-free days is asking for a trade-off in lives over profit. Unsurprisingly, restricting this supply is not a popular call. In formulating the NT Country Liberals’ alcohol policy, Mr Mills makes the prima facie claim: “It’s behavior that’s the problem, not the substance.”
According to McCuster Centre For Action on Alcohol and Youth, over the last 10 years about 15% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds were due to risky / high risk drinking.  On average, five Australians under 25 die from injury or disease caused by hazardous drinking each week and Indigenous people are more than twice as likely to die.

When an intoxicated Indigenous woman holds up her hand and stops a train besides the now ironically named, Little Sisters Town Camp, it could be that she’s saying “Stop!” to the free market grog trade decimating her community.
The tragedy is that it doesn’t stop there.  If this woman is pregnant, the unborn child is likely to suffer Foetal Alcohol Sprectrum Disorder.
Terry Mills faces the Australian Christian Lobby’s Make it Count Election Forum at CDU, Darwin next Thursday, August 9 at 7:30pm. The webcast will be streamed live to the Baptist Church, cnr Crispe and Brown St, Alice Springs.
Paul Henderson, NT Chief Minister declined to participate. COMMENT by RUSSELL GUY.

Briscoe inquest: Alcohol's 'flotsam and jetsam' forever a burden on police?

When Kwementyaye Briscoe died in the Alice Springs police watch house in January it was a tragic event for him, his family and the community.
The coronial enquiry heard evidence that police procedure surrounding the death was inadequate and more appropriate action by several officers may have prevented the death of the extremely drunk man.
Counsel for the Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) Lex Silvester addressed the enquiry and acknowledged the severity of the events: "That Kumanji’s death occurred in the circumstances then prevailing is a matter for profound regret. The loss of a child, brother, sister, relative or friend causes terrible grief the extent of which can only ever be known to those closest."
However, much of Mr Silvester's address to the Coroner, in its content and significance to the community, went well beyond the events of that night.
It painted a horrendous picture of the trauma, mayhem and tragedy alcohol is causing, and the intolerable burden that is placed on the police, every day. It went further to urge a sweeping independent review of the take-away liquor trade in Alice Springs. 
The Alice Springs News Online has been an important forum for discussion about better management and control of the use of alcohol. It is in this spirit that we publish excerpts from Mr Silvester's submission.

PHOTO: Police CCTV image of Kwementyaye Briscoe in the watch house shortly before his death.

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