Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said that the Australian drinking culture has often led to horrific violence. He shared that there is a trend of forgiving violence committed under the influence of alcohol. Stewart compared the national cultural with other nations he visited and noted that such problems are not prevalent in those places.
“There is no other country I have ever visited where I have seen the type of violence erupting where patrons are attacking security staff or attacking emergency services staff the way it seems to happen here in our country,” the Brisbane Times quoted Stewart as saying on ABC Radio on Monday.
He added, “Australians don’t seem to be able to go out and have a few drinks and leave it at that, we have those in our society who go and have a few drinks and think ‘I also have to have a fight’, that goes hand in hand with their drinking. I’m not saying everyone is in that category but there are very many that seem to do that.”
Stewart urged to put an end to drunken violence almost a month after Cole Miller, 18, lost his life to a fatal punch at Fortitude Valley. Two police officers were also assaulted over the weekend while they were trying to stop two separate brawls. He said that it was fine to drink but there is a need for a serious discussion to stop the Australian drinking culture that leads to violence.
He lashed out at the parents who let their children organise wild parties and drink irresponsibly.
“Where are the parents of these kids? Where are those who have some responsibility for them, in terms of the types of attitudes they now have,” he said, as quoted by SkyNews.
He continued, “What are they going to be like when a wife, or spouse, or partner, says to them later in life ‘don’t have another drink, you’re getting out of control’? Does that meant they’re going to belt them too?”
Stewart said his comments have nothing to do with a new bill aimed at reducing alcohol-related violence, on which a parliamentary committee is preparing to report within a week.