Local critical of police responses

MACLEAN Cellars owner Peter Cox has not seen such appalling response times from police in his 37 years in the liquor industry.

Mr Cox made this statement at the Lower Clarence liquor accord meeting in Yamba.

He said on occasions when he or his staff phoned police about incidents in the McLachlan Park alcohol-free zone opposite his business it would take up to five hours for police to turn up at the park.

"We ring the police and four or five hours later we might get a response," Mr Cox said.

"You get times when you never get a response at all.

"My guys have given up trying to enforce the alcohol-free zone across the road."

Mr Cox said he and his staff had reported incidents and seen the police drive past and not respond.

He said all his staff were vigilant in adhering to responsible service of alcohol laws and believed the laws for alcohol-free zones should be enforced.

"Sometimes the paddy wagon drives past after we have called and people are in the park drinking and the paddy wagon keeps driving," Mr Cox said.

"I have never seen such a lack of response and back-up ever.

"And I have had some pubs in some really bad towns."

Sergeant Greg Peronchick of the Coffs Clarence local area command said he would be informing his superiors of Mr Cox's claims.

He told the liquor accord meeting there were "resourcing issues in the Lower River".

Sgt Peronchick said the officer in charge of the Lower Clarence, Sergeant Darren Williams, had told him he was the only officer on duty in the area at times.



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