Sydney is planning to remove the bans on 62 public places that had been included in the alcohol-free zones a few months back.
According to the earlier ruling, it was declared as illegal to drink in public places licensed as alcohol-free zones. But now, the city has decided to remove the bans from some of those places that are considered lock out zones and those that fall under those banned areas, including Newtown, Surry Hills, Kings Cross, Redfern, Alexandria, Rosebury, Waterloo and Darlinhurst. The removal of bans will include the streets and parks across Sydney.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s government witnessed the frequent increase in the number of alcohol-free zones to around 400, which is far more than the 149 recorded in 2009. The Sydney authority’s plans have prompted a wave of anger among police officials who believe that restrictions on drinking in specified areas helped in declining rates of violent crimes to a great extent.
According to Music Feeds, Moore seems to be planning for such an initiative, keeping in mind the upcoming council elections. The speculations are that taking the step will help Moore grab more votes from the youth. In case the bans are removed, the homeless population of the region will get an opportunity to drink in more centralised areas now.
Though the council advocated the crimes statistics saying the rates were quite low in that area, NSW police looked disappointed with the authority’s decision. The officers said that the ban helped in the prevention of violent crimes prompting deteriorated “malicious damage, stealing, offensive behaviour and acts of violence.” “Removing alcohol-free zones makes the job of local police in these areas more difficult,” Police Association of NSW boss Scott Weber said as quoted by the Daily Telegraph.
Liberal Councillor Christine Forster said the best verdict relating to crime stats comes from police officials as they are concerned authorities. “Like most things, you’ve got to strike a balance,” Forster added.