So some of you will know it was my Birthday on Friday 11th. On the 12th, around 20 of my friends hit the town to celebrate the year to come.
We had an awesome night at karaoke before hitting a busy pub to have a dance. People started to leave and around 12:50am, the few of us who were left decided to head somewhere else. When we were leaving, I noticed how many police officers and security guards were starting to roam around the streets and stand outside of the pubs and clubs along the street. At first, I thought something was wrong before I realised it was actually the first time I had hit the city since the Lockouts were introduced!
Not only were there so many police officers on foot, I also felt a much higher presence of highway patrol on the streets as well. I know the NSW government is feeling really proud of itself right now as violence rates have fallen significantly since the lockouts but I’m sorry, I’m going to take some of that thunder away from them right now.
I have been going out to the city for years and I have never seen police presence like I saw on Saturday night. To me, the lower violence rate has nothing to do with the lock outs, it is directly correlated with the police presence! It got me nervous and I wasn’t even drinking!! Imagine what it would do to people who were over the limit and perhaps were walking to their cars!
As a wine merchant, I deal with a lot of clubs and bottle shops around the city and I am considerably concerned for businesses in the area. Bottleshops have to close at 10pm and a few of my customers have been crying about how their business is down 10-20%! How many couples out there go to dinner together and then decide to pop past the bottlo for another bottle to take home and continue the party? It’s not about going to the bottleshop to get even more drunk! Yes, of course there will be a small minority that abuse alcohol but I’m a believer that the majority of people actually drink responsibly. They don’t go out, fuel up and cowardly punch someone. It’s not fair to punish bottleshops, clubs and pubs for the actions of a small minority.
It would be an interesting experiment to see whether we get rid of the lockouts and continue the strong police presence to see whether violence still falls….