Bottle shop cops ‘security guards, paid for by the taxpayer’

p2309-Paul-McCueLETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – In the same week the Minister for Police and Commissioner for Police stood shoulder to shoulder to announce a fast tracked accelerated recruit squad for Alice Springs, all but acknowledging the drained resources in Central Australia, police resources have been re-prioritised for bottle shop duties.

 

It is disappointing the commissioner has failed to support senior police in Alice Springs who have worked tirelessly to develop a process which reverts to proactive policing of all social order problems, at the whim of what appears to be political pressure.

 

The commissioner’s office has directed that staffing bottle shops as pseudo security guards should be done first and foremost, ahead of all other policing duties. This of course includes understaffed remote stations.

 

Standing at a privately-owned bottle shop as a pseudo security guard, paid for by the taxpayer, must stop.

 

We have what appears to be a situation where a minority is dictating to government and the commissioner how to police a community. This is a disgrace and our police have had enough.

 

Resources are being drawn from across Central Australia to staff bottle shops in Point of Sale Intervention (POSI) duties, and the rosters for this are being filled as priority.

 

For as long as POSIs continue, the police force will be under resourced, undermanned and not able to proactively conduct police duties, such as intelligence-led investigations to full capacity.

 

Paul McCue (pictured)

Northern Territory Police Association President

 

 

 

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8 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. Eleanor Diflo
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Publish the profits that bottle shops make. Alcohol causes problems in our community. Let those who make profits pay for the licensing officers.
    Alcohol is not an essential service. So let the owners pay for security and the problems caused as part of their licence fee.
    Cigarette companies should pay for the health problems cigarettes cause.
    Like asbestos,the companies which profit from the sales of these harmful products should pay for the harm the products cause.

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  2. Paul Parker
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 8:07 am

    It remains the responsibility of licensees to enforce requirements of the legislation within their premises.
    I do not support as deterrent for uniformed police to be stationed at take-away alcohol outlets, to catch individuals breaching banning provisions.
    I do support plain clothes NT Police, using appropriate technology, to concentrate on catching those providing alcohol to banned persons, and those banned persons.
    Take-away sources of alcohol need be closed for at least 24 hours when they provide alcohol to a banned person.
    Police then can concentrate on catching those who obtain and supply alcohol to banned persons.
    Robyn Lambley expressed concerns for those who provide prohibited persons alcohol.
    Were ongoing problems in wider residential areas, where alcohol is almost totally banned, with otherwise law-abiding reasonable consumers of alcohol finding themselves dry, while less reasonable consumers of alcohol, and less reasonable suppliers of alcohol thrived.
    The problems of shared alcohol were created with banning possession of alcohol in large areas, rather than dealing with individual offenders.
    There is a need for it be NOT to be acceptable to share alcohol with individual persons the court bans.
    The argument for acceptability to give banned drinkers alcohol supports arguments of acceptability for unlicensed, intoxicated drivers driving unregistered, uninsured vehicles on public roads.
    Cultures change, culture is not a constant.

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  3. R Henry
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    I agree with other posters that the police at liquor outlets has quietened the place noticeably. Perhaps if he wants to make better use of police time he should be pushing for truth in sentencing and better reviews for bail and parole.

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  4. David
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    For those who think it’s a great thing to have bottle shop cops, then perhaps in recruiting adverts for the NT police it should state: “Join the NT Police Force – Become a Bottle Shop Cop.”
    I am sure people aspire to more than being bottle shop cops when they apply to join the NT Police Force although it makes some people feel comfortable to keep police employed that way.
    It does not prevent alcohol associated crimes nor the rivers of grog flowing (Children are Sacred Report) as far as I can observe.
    Alcohol is at the crux of most violent crimes that results in serious injury or death. I agree with Paul McCue, police are needed to be out there to be dealing with such issues, the way they are trained to do.
    But the parliamentarians know what side their bread is buttered, so when influential people talk loudly in their shell like, they simply weaken at the knees.

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  5. Scarlett Grant
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    The government has acknowledged that the BDR has failed by the direction to police that POSI is to stay.
    It is interesting that the local independent, Liberal and Labor members sit silent on the BDR.
    The secondary supply is happening and how many break-ins involve the theft of grog or cash to buy.
    Unlike the politicians, the coppers know the trends and are best placed to determine where resources are placed. This government is of little difference to the last.

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  6. Careful with that $, Eugene
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    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.

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  7. Steve Brown
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    From the moment the POSIs were implemented they have proved themselves to be the single most effective crime prevention measure the Territory has ever seen.
    Now I don’t know about you Paul McCue but I would much rather have my family home and business all kept in one piece as opposed to paying out my hard earned to employ a police person who gets greater job satisfaction from aftermath policing!
    A person who apparently has so little empathy for the public’s plight that they would actually ask for our support in that role but not in the preventative role!
    Call it self interest if you like Mr McCue, but I like many other Territorians, through the voices of our politicians, are going to keep on insisting on the POSIs wherever they are needed.
    If we have a police staffing issue employ more police – just as we have been promised on many occasions over the past dozen years.
    Fill all of the roles the community requires, not just the roles that suite you!

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  8. James T Smerk
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    I’ve been saying that for years. Bottle shops make enough profit, hire your own security guards.
    It’s the same for licenced premises, they should be responsible for ensuring their general area is safe too! Not just inside their buildings. You assist in causing a problem you should be part of the clean up.

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