The president of the Police Association of NSW Scott Weber has said that he will consider changing lockout laws and extending the operation of bottle shops past 10pm if there’s evidence to prove it won’t cause a rise in violence.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he said that he and his members of the association would consider a number of changes to the rule but their priority is public safety. They will consider supporting any changes suggested in the review into the lockout laws that is due in August but will not support moving closing times in the city past 3am.
The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) is one of the more vocal groups opposing lockout laws. Their current priority is to extend the opening hours of bottle shops with pushing back lockouts following that.
“The AHA are talking about it (later lockout times),” Weber said.
“If they’re going to have those conversations (around bottle shop closing and when lockouts start) we’re quite happy to have those conversations but it’s got to be on evidence. We’re willing to have a look.”
One proposal he said he had heard was for the lockout laws to be pushed back but only if the government had the power to give pubs and clubs their own lockouts at 12.30am or even midnight if they were deemed to be problem venues.
In a story in March Weber said that he agreed with, “many of the calls from the anti-lockout law campaigners.”
He said though, despite employing responsible service of alcohol inspectors, installing CCTV and increasing education campaigns, they were unable to curb alcohol-fuelled violence before the lockout laws.
“The only thing that evidence shows works is the modest suite of measures we currently have: reduced trading hours, lockouts and restrictions on high alcohol-content drinks,” he said.
Conversations between the public, the government and the police will no doubt reach boiling point once the review is handed down in August. There were 1800 submissions made to the review. They are all public and can be read here.
Gallery: Reclaim The Streets Rally – Sydney 2016 / Photos By Brandon Matich