Anti-Violence Crackdown sweeps Sydney
Under harsh new measures announced by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell a few weeks ago pubs and clubs in Sydney’s CBD and the Kings Cross District will now be required to enforce a 1:30am lockout and serve last drinks by 3am.
According to the state governments new measures, the 1:30am lockouts and 3am last drinks will be applied across an expanded CBD precinct which will run from Kings Cross to Darling Harbour, The Rocks to Haymarket and Darlinghurst.
Another measure being implemented is the mandatory closure of all bottle shops in NSW at 10pm, which is 2 hours earlier than the current midnight closing times.
Perhaps one of the most controversial measures is the introduction of mandatory minimum 8 year jail sentences to perpetrators of alcohol and drug fuelled one-punch assaults.
Police will also be allowed to test for alcohol and drugs if they suspect that it has contributed to an assault, which at the moment is not the case. The government is seeking to have the laws implemented as soon as possible.
This excerpt from an article on TheShout.com.au explains the government’s motives behind the measures as stated by O’Farrell recently:
“I have been horrified by the continued drug and alcohol-fuelled attacks on city streets and the increase in violence used in these attacks,” O’Farrell said.
“I’ve heard the community’s call for action and I’m confident this package of measures approved by Cabinet will make a difference,” he said.
“These new measures are tough and for that I make no apologies. I expect opposition to some or all of the measures, but the community wants strong action and the NSW Government intends to deliver it.”
“The measures announced today build on our targeted approach to tackling drug and alcohol-fuelled violence since we came to government, including the ‘Three Strikes’ regime, increasing police numbers and powers and improving public transport,” O’Farrell said.
New Measures Include:
- The maximum sentence for people who illegally supply or possess steroids has been increased from 2 years to 25 years.
- On-the-spot fines have been increased to $1,100 which is 5 times the current fine. This is for anyone who disobeys a police move-on order or displays continued intoxication and disorderly behaviour.
- The implementation of a community awareness and media campaign which will directly address the culture of binge drinking and related alcohol and drug fuelled violence.
- Improvements in public transport will help minimise loitering as free buses will run freely every ten minutes from Kings Cross to the CBD, connecting with NightRide services on weekend nights.
- Laws will remove voluntary intoxication by drugs or alcohol as a mitigating factor when courts determine sentences.
- Maximum penalties will be increased by two years where drugs and/or alcohol are aggravating factors for violent crimes. These crimes include assault causing grievous bodily harm, reckless bodily harm, assaults against police, affray and sexual assault.
- Trouble makers can be immediately banned from the CBD precinct by police for up to 48 hours.
- There will be a freeze on the issuing of liquor licences for new pubs and clubs in the precinct.