Police slam small bar idea

EMERGENCY service workers have slammed reports that creating a ‘‘small bar’’ culture in Newcastle will drive down alcohol-related assaults and antisocial behaviour.

Police Association of NSW President Scott Weber said history shows that creating clusters of smaller licensed venues will lead to an increase in alcohol-related crime.

“We know that more than half of assaults recorded by police occur within 50 metres of a liquor outlet,” he said.

“There’s just no getting around the fact that the density of drinking venues is directly related to the number of alcohol-related assaults.

‘‘Our police, paramedics, nurses and doctors see it first-hand every night of the week and the statistics are there to confirm it.

“We do need to move away from the booze barn culture in Newcastle, but introducing more licensed venues certainly isn’t the answer.”

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