THE only way to curb binge drinking behaviour in Orange is to limit the availability of alcohol, according to Lyndon Community deputy CEO, Dr Julaine Allan.
Dr Allan says she is not surprised Orange is ranked the ninth most violent local government area in NSW and believes most assaults in Orange are alcohol related.
She said studies proved the wealthier the population the more likely there would be alcohol-related problems.
“The ranking is a good reason not to have another licensed premises in town,” she said.
Binge drinking is more likely in people aged 18 to 25 and men are more likely to end up in hospital from alcohol-related violence.
“They are the ones most at risk,” Dr Allan said.
“Males are the ones getting into the fights.”
Dr Allan said reducing the hours that pubs were open would help the problem, as would making alcohol more expensive.
She said people would still drink, but they would not be in public venues where they could cause fights and brawls.
Dr Allan compiled a study in Orange two years ago from the perspective of publicans, police, paramedics and taxi drivers.
She noticed a common trend, where each group blamed the other for the social problems surrounding binge drinking.
“The bartenders blamed the police, because they wouldn’t come when they were called,” she said.
“They claimed people were drinking large amounts of alcohol before coming to the pub and acting sober when they arrived.”
The study showed police felt their services were stretched because they were busy attending domestic violence calls, usually alcohol-related, and did not have time to attend the pubs.
“The ambulance officers said they had to clean up everybody else’s mess,” Dr Allan said.
“The taxi drivers said they liked the taxi rank because they felt safe there, despite up to 600 people converging in the one spot at the one time.”