Safe Night Precinct review touted after drop in violence
DECLINING violence, falling patron numbers and dwindling licensed venues in Ipswich have prompted calls to withdraw the city from a safety initiative.
The QUANTEM (QUeensland Alcohol-related violence and Night Time Economy Monitoring) report shows Ipswich has the lowest number of recorded crime entries among all Safe Night Precincts in the state. The report recommends Ipswich be removed or the criteria for a Safe Night Precinct (SNP) be changed.
The Ipswich Safe Night Precinct covers the greater CBD area, down Brisbane St into West Ipswich. Venues in the Safe Night precinct are unable to sell alcohol after 3am, nor sell 'shots' after 12am.
In Ipswich, 47 men and one woman were banned compared with 401 across the state.
Ninety-three per cent of these bans were licensee-issued, the remaining were Queensland Police Service and court issued.
Twenty-eight of those people banned were in the 18-24 year group, 20 were in the 25-34 age bracket and only one in the 35-44 age range.
"Another SNP which is an example of an SNP which does not meet most criteria is the (Ipswich) SNP. This SNP only has a single venue and fails to capture much of the nightlife activity," the report reads.
"It is recommended that Ipswich cease being an SNP and a review determine whether a different area is warranted."
The rates of serious assault, common assault, and public nuisance offences in the SNP continued to decline from 2011, with only 64 police call-outs in Ipswich from July 2017-July 2018.
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said Ipswich will retain its SNP precinct until further consultation.
"The (report) identified that Ipswich's Safe Night Precinct doesn't really have the patron numbers or the number of late-night venues that warrant it remaining a Safe Night Precinct," Ms Howard said.
"There is also a recommendation about reviewing the criteria for Safe Night Precincts."
Ms Howard said she wanted to hear from other stakeholders regarding the proposed changes to the Safe Night Precinct.
"The government response is an interim response; all recommendations are subject to further consultation," she said.
"In Ipswich, we see what Australia Post has done by pulling the pin on the CBD post office.
"We are going through a transition. I want to encourage optimism that things will improve.
"Any decision that's made won't be set in concrete (just yet)."