Call for public to monitor police at bottle shops

2498 cop at bottloBy ERWIN CHLANDA


The outspoken People’s Alcohol Action Coalition (PAAC) wants the public to keep an eye on the presence of police officers performing TBL duties at bottle shops.


They have started a Facebook site where people can record their observations which PAAC volunteers will be evaluating.


Spokesperson John Boffa says the website is separate from the PAAC site so that people not necessarily in agreement with the group’s policies can feel comfortable with the TBL (which stands for Temporary Beat Locations) initiative.


Dr Boffa says it was started because it appears that whenever there are no cops at bottlos the work load at the hospital emergency department (ED) increases.


“We call on the NT Government to ensure there are enough officers to cover all bottle shops without the frequent and recurrent gaps that have occurred this year,” he says.


“We need to see whether the new Banned Drinkers’ Register (BDR) is able to reduce harm to the same extent as TBLs. This is an empirical question that needs to be answered with data.


“The frequent police absences and their appalling consequences just go on and on, despite Chief Minister Gunner having made it very clear that he expects full coverage.”


TBL functions “will hopefully soon be done by authorised licensing inspectors, instead of police,” says Dr Boffa.


Whenever there are gaps in police attendance at bottle shops the crime rate goes up and that in turn creates the need to further divert police from TBL.


“This is preventable harm. PAAC is aware that the hospital has told the police about it; in fact the hospital has requested that police base an officer in the ED if they cannot maintain full TBL coverage.


“That is how serious a difference the gaps make.


“We understand the Flynn Drive IGA supermarket closed its doors early twice last week due to serious trouble associated with excessive drinking, including a severe stabbing.”


A spokesperson for the supermarket says one closure was due to the power cut, but the liquor store closed early on Wednesday after an incident outside the store. Someone had been hurt and police and ambulance had attended.


“As people were milling around the manager closed the supermarket until people dispersed.”




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5 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Scarlett Grant
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Dr Boffa, since you state there has been a reduction in crime from police standing outside bottle shops, resulting in reduced medical admissions, does that equate to your employer not requiring the same level of funding in the next financial year?

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  2. Local 1
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    I did not really support it, but it has been the only thing that worked. Licencing inspectors will not have the knowlege of the perpetrators to be as effective as the police unfortunately.
    As far as out there catching real criminals? Talking to the cops that do it, it seems they are having success in preventing the crimes occurring in the first place.
    Getting pissed and belting a woman or child until they require hospitalisation, I believe, is a real crime.
    Summer is comming. Take the coppers off the bottle shops, prepare for absolute hell. Thanks to the local coppers for doing this boring, thankless job. You are making a difference.

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  3. David
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Paul McCue, NT Police Association President, looks like your police will have to stay at the bottle shops according to the PAAC, to be monitored by the public encouraged on the PAAC web site, not out there fighting the escalating criminal behaviour of recent events in Alice Springs.

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  4. James T Smerk
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Agree with Paul.

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  5. Paul Parker
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I do not support uniformed police being stationed at take-away alcohol outlets.
    It is the responsibility of licensees within their premises to ensure compliance with requirements as set out in the legislation.
    If licensees find it difficult to provide adequate security during certain times they need be temporarily closed during those times.
    I support police attending to charge individuals and those licensees who breach banning provisions.

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