Blacktown streets safer than ever, say police

Blacktown is one of the safest places in NSW for people to drink alcohol, said Blacktown Liquor Accord chairman Neale Vaughan.

His claim is backed by Blacktown police commander Superintendent Gary Merryweather and police licensing chief, Sergeant Todd Wallace, who said the figure had dropped from 17 cases of assaults last year to six during the summer months from December last year to February this year.

Superintendent Merryweather was among 50 people in the industry who attended the first Liquor Accord meeting for 2014 at Blacktown Workers Club last Tuesday.

Mr Vaughan, who is also the club general manager, said the number of alcohol-related offences had dropped significantly since people in the industry started meeting regularly with the police.

He said people running restaurants, clubs, hotels and bottle shops would meet police every three months to discuss their problems and how to solve them for the benefit of their customers.

‘‘We expect the number of cases relating to alcohol to continue drop further as we work closely with the police and the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing NSW,’’ he said. 

Superintendent Merryweather said the one-hour meeting also discussed the new law on the sale of  alcohol and the level of  intoxication of  people at premises selling alcohol.

He said the Liquor Accord meetings had helped police to reduce the number of offences related to alcohol.

Blacktown police licensing officer Sergeant Todd Wallace said the meeting also served as a forum for people in the alcohol industry and the police.

He said Anthony Trimarchi from ClubsNSW also spoke about the new law passed by the NSW government to combat drunken behaviour in the Sydney CBD.

Sergeant Wallace said local liquor operators had submitted their agreed code of conduct on the sale of alcohol to NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing for its approval.

‘‘It will be implemented in Blacktown once we get the green light.’’

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