Tougher penalties, ID scanners in clubs to combat violence
QUEENSLANDERS have called for tougher penalties for alcohol and drug fuelled violence and ID scanners to prevent problem patrons from entering clubs.
Clubs and pubs have also been urged to ensure more responsible service of alcohol amid outrage over recent deaths, including on the Sunshine Coast.
More than 12,000 people took part in a Queensland government survey, the results of which were published online last week.
More than 1000 of those were from the Sunshine Coast, about 700 from Ipswich, more than 6000 from Toowoomba, and nearly 1000 from the WideBay region, which takes in Bundaberg, Fraser Coast and Gympie.
Premier Campbell Newman, who recently met with former Olympian Lisa Curry, to discuss the issue, told reporters this week that it was not just about police and penalties but changing a whole culture.
The survey found that most people (60%) went to private parties for their alcohol-related entertainment, with only 31% going to nightclubs.
But almost 60% said they had witnessed violence in or around entertainment venues, compared to less than 30% at private parties.
More than 55% blamed the violence on a lack of respect and concern for others.
More than a third (35%) blamed the inadequate penalties for offenders failing to deter bad behavour.
One in five said pre-loading of drinks before attending clubs - or between clubs - was an issue.
The survey summary suggested three strategies had the broadest support:
Tougher penalties and sentences for law-breakers affected by drugs or alcohol
(weighted score: 24,006, weighted position 1; rating '1': 25.3%, n = 2 746)
ID scanners to prevent entry to problem patrons
(weighted score: 15,654, weighted position 2; rating '1': 13.5%, n = 1 464)
Better practice of Responsible Service of Alcohol obligations by venues
(weighted score: 14,486, weighted position 4; rating '1': 12.8%, n = 1 392).
The following two strategies have the overall broad support of respondents, although were less
likely to be given top priority:
Enhanced safety features in the streets and public areas around licensed premises (such as lighting or CCTV) (weighted score: 15,037, weighted position 3).
- More police patrols (weighted score: 13,209, weighted position 5).
The following two strategies had limited overall support from respondents generally:
Reduced trading hours (rating '1': 14.0%, n = 1522)
- Better public transport options (rating '1': 9.2%, n = 997).
Drugs and steroid use
Respondents were asked a series of questions about their perceptions of illicit drug and steroid
use. The results show that:
- around half (50.6%, n = 5540) of the respondents, in their experience, think that illicit drug consumption directly influences acts of violence and aggression in and around their local entertainment venues
- public events or private parties over half (56.7%, n = 6214) of the respondents think that illicit drugs are a problem
- under half (43.5%, n = 4759) of the respondents, in their experience, think that the combined consumption of steroids and alcohol has contributed to acts of violence