It is tempting to say this dramatic NT-wide drop in …

Comment on The Great Alcohol Debate: Police protective custodies headed south over the last six years by Bob Durnan.

It is tempting to say this dramatic NT-wide drop in police protective custody apprehensions of drunks, which is greater than 44% in the two years from June 30th 2010 to June 30th 2012, is very good news for the NT.
It would also, paradoxically, be good news for the Mills government and its efforts to contain unnecessary expenditures.
However these conclusions depend, at least partly, on not being contradicted by the absent data: the trends contained in the yet unknown figures for those drinkers who were not taken into protective custody under police supervision at the watch-houses (but who were taken by police to SUSs, private homes etc), although those figures are normally much lower and fairly stable.
The less dazzling but nonetheless very impressive and probably more reliable figure of a 24% overall drop in police protective custody apprehensions of drunks since the beginning of the NT Emergency Response Intervention in June 2007 is cause for satisfaction at the Licensing Commission. It will also encourage those many community leaders, public servants, politicians, health professionals and concerned members of the public who have been desperately trying to find productive, sustainable ways to lessen the debilitating impact of excessive consumption on NT society and its budget.
The recent big drop in the police protective custody numbers, since June 2010, is, almost certainly, partly attributable to the introduction of bans on 3, 4 and 5 litre cheap wine casks throughout the rest of the NT during the 2010-2011 period.
Another factor would be the settling effect that has come with consolidation of increased police presence in remote communities and their patrols on remote roads, and also the more consistent and professional Night Patrol operations in many of the communities.
According to large opinion surveys of remote residents in 2011, the efforts of these police and patrol workers have caused significant lessening of grog-running, drunkenness and violence in most communities.
These strengthened safety services initially led to increases in apprehensions of drinkers who were previously able to consistently get away with behaving badly on the roads and in their home communities, but seem in more recent years to have led to less of that misbehaviour.
(When the Licensing Commission mandated its NT-wide bans on casks larger than 2 litres, it was simply arranging for Darwin, Palmerston, and other smaller places to follow the successful example which had already been set by Alice Springs, so it is not surprising that Alice Springs did not experience such a dramatic reduction of protective custody apprehensions during 2010-2011 as did the rest of the NT: it had already received the benefits of outlawing the big casks).
The Mills government would be well advised to take on board the lessons of how these improvements were achieved, and consider them carefully when deciding on its own moves to address the still very considerable alcohol-related problems confronting the people of the NT. It should, particularly, respect the judgements of the Licensing Commission and Justice Department experts who are now very adept at designing initiatives which have good chances of success in relation to reduction in consumption and harms.
However to really get to grips with what they mean, we need access to the regional data to which Kieran refers.
We also probably need to be able to overlay the data with the changing rules and styles which governed local police operations during this five year period.

Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Seniors concessions praised, but questions about tiers
Fascinating to hear that seniors who were grandfathered will keep their concessions and receive $500.
Would be even more interesting to know what that means.
Exactly what did the grandfathers do to the seniors? Care to tell us, Sue Shearer?


Bottle shop cops ‘security guards, paid for by the taxpayer’
Neither Paul McCue nor James Smerk understands the role of the police at the TBLs / POSIs outside the takeaway grog outlets.
They are not there for the purpose of policing the outlets, nor for the purpose of proving security for the benefit of the outlets and their customers, although they do some of that incidentally in the course of their main duties.
The reason that police are there is to prevent the trafficking of alcohol by people who have no legitimate place to drink it, and who are intending to drink it in places where it is illegal to do so, such as Aboriginal lands where communities have asked the Liquor Commission to declare areas dry, or town camp leases which the Federal government has declared dry for the wellbeing of vulnerable residents.
These are the sole reasons that police are stationed outside the off-licence liquor outlets.


Booze report: What the government is likely to do.
In response to R Henry on Oct 20th, on who gets the extra markup money?
There is very little brand loyalty to the cheap brands of Chardonnay amongst our dedicated alcohol-drinking punters: They are after the cheapest hit of alcohol for their buck, regardless of its host liquid, not for their next taste of the rank Calabrian / Bortoli products.
Since the vast majority of shoppers generally shift their choice to better value for money when confronted with higher prices (and this happened when Clare Martin knocked the cheapest wines and sherries off the shelves in October 2006: there was a massive shift to beer), there is unlikely to be very much windfall profits via extra markup.
To the extent that there are any windfalls, they are unlikely to be anywhere near commensurate with the decrease in profits that are likely to occur because of the overall impacts of a number of the proposed reforms.
To see if I am correct, keep your ears open for the sounds of the interstate alcohol industry cartels – manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and their paid public relations reps squealing about the alleged injustice, unfairness and unworkability of these visionary evidence-based reforms.
It is going to be an interesting war, and the outcome will decide whether the NT has any future worth speaking about.


Elferink and Gooda clash over underage marriage
Peter, Posted June 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm: some young girls may resist promised marriage more strongly these days, but I doubt whether some are in a position to do so.
It has been authoritatively reported by youth workers in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the last few years that rape of young women is rife in these towns.


I’m not kungka, I’m arelhe
Does anybody know if the hours when the Arrernte words teaching program is held at the Apmere angkentye-kenhe are available somewhere on the net, or anywhere else?
I thought I had seen it advertised for every Wednesday night at 6pm, but this doesn’t appear to be the case?
I have gone there at this time, found it closed, and no notice or info on the door.
Anybody wanna clarify here?


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