Saturday, January 23, 2010

Top cop questions media focus on pub violence

The police officer in charge of the nation’s first designated entertainment precinct has question whether media coverage of glassings and other violent acts in and about licensed premises is causing more harm than good.

Inspector Steve Donnelly, providing a report to a meeting of the Valley Liquor Accord late last year, is recorded in the meeting’s minutes as saying “very likely” when asked by a venue representative if media coverage had contributed to an increase in glassings in the local area.
The senior police officer had told the meeting that the use of glasses in assaults was increasing, from seven in 2007, 10 in 2008, and 24 before end of May in 2009. The minutes record that Inspector Donnelly made it clear it was only a person opinion, but The Independent has been told by a participant at the meeting that the inspector to stress his point mentioned that the media did not publish reports on suicides as it was known to lead to more suicide attempts.
According to the minutes, another participant later
asked whether the media could be encouraged then to stop using the term “glassing”. Inspector Donnelly’s comments followed a lengthy series of articles by The Courier-Mail under the banner Punch Drunk, highlighting what the paper sees as increasing violence across the state’s entertainment precincts.
The inspector’s report to the VLA meeting tended to back that claim. He told attendees approximate statistics for October last year showed 112 assaults in Brisbane central district, 56 of which occurred in Fortitude Valley. This was up from 100 last year.

Above: The Valley boasts its image as an entertainment hub.