According to the Liquor Stores Association of NSW (LSA NSW) the claims by anti-alcohol advocates that the density of alcohol outlets is contributing to crimes like domestic abuse are false.
The LSA NSW lashed out after the NSW Greens MP John Kaye recently made what they described as unsubstantiated claims that the number of bottle shops correlates to more domestic violence. The LSA said this statement is incorrect and unfounded.
According to the LSA NSW, the recent Report on the Statutory Review of the NSW Liquor Act 2007 proved that alcohol related domestic assaults were dropping despite the number of liquor licences increasing. The following excerpt from TheShout.com.au explains:
Without quoting any evidence, NSW Greens MP John Kaye this week said that “increasing the number of bottle shops correlates to more domestic violence”, an argument that LSA NSW has labelled “just plain wrong”.
“According to the November 2013 Report on the Statutory Review of the (NSW) Liquor Act 2007, the facts are that alcohol-related domestic assaults fell 12 per cent between 2008 and 2012, while the number of NSW Packaged Liquor Licences increased by 30.5 per cent in the same period,” the association said.
The statistics do seem to support the LSA NSW’s claims. According to the latest ABS data, the number of packaged liquor licensed in NSW has increased over the last half a decade and there was an overall drop in the total volume of pure alcohol sold for the second year in a row. During the same time per capita consumption also dropped. According to LSA NSW CEO Terry Mott the per capita consumption dropped by 5.4 per cent since 2008.
The organisation went on to state:
“No-one can disagree that it is a tragedy when any person (young or old) is killed or injured by the mindless actions of someone out on a night intending to inflict harm on others – however jumping to emotional and simplistic responses may not be the answer,” LSA NSW said.
The LSA NSW suggested sustained education programs to directly engage the community particularly those groups that are under high risk. This will over time result in the modification of people’s behaviours which will alter the problematic drinking culture. One of the problems that seem to be engrained in or culture is that people drink with the intention of getting drunk. The only way to tackle this is with a sustained effort aimed at educating the community, the LSA claims. The post goes on to explain:
The association said that effective and sustained education programs to directly engage the community, especially those groups vulnerable to high risk drinking behaviours with the specific intent of modifying people’s behaviour over time, will help to create a cultural change for the healthy enjoyment of alcohol as opposed to ‘drinking to get drunk’.
“This needs to also be complimented with a targeted Policing approach to enforce current legislation with those individuals who do go out with the intent of inflicting harm on others and also sentencing by the courts for those convicted in these cases, which is seen as appropriate by the community,” it said.