Editorial - Tuesday, December 17: Behave or don’t drink

THERE are two jobs I would never want to do - well, to be honest there are probably a lot more but these two are near the top of the list - running a pub and being a policeman patrolling a pub.

I am far from a wowser and have spent many productive hours in bars but apart from a stint while backpacking 20-odd years ago I've never wanted to be on the other side of the bar.

And I've definitely never wanted to have to keep in line those who have had too much to drink.

These days it seems an even harder task for bar staff and police.

The amount of violence related to drinking, from the highly publicised spate of tragic king-hit assaults to more vandalism, has been quite frightening.

The reverie that was often so enjoyable in pubs and clubs now seems to often switch to pushing, then punches, as drinkers lose control.

Maybe it is a sign of aging on my part but it is a problem that seems to have increased markedly in the past decade, particularly in our big cities, although it is a significant problem in regional areas as well.

The violence has put pressure on bar managers and their staff to step in before trouble brews.

It was reassuring, however, to hear Coffs Clarence crime manager Darren Jameson talk yesterday about putting the onus back on the personal responsibility of those consuming the drinks.

Threats of heavy fines should not be needed to ensure people behave but that is a step police have been forced to take.

There can be no excuse - either behave or don't step into a pub in the first place.

David Moase

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