THERE used to be a time when families would stroll down Summer Street after their evening meal, browsing in shop windows while eating ice-creams, but those days are long gone.
Many families simply don’t feel safe walking the streets, even the main street, on a Friday and Saturday night.
Their fears appear to be well-founded with staff at Orange hospital confirming their accident and emergency department is brimming with drunk and injured people who over-indulge on Friday and Saturday nights.
Not only must staff treat the intoxicated patients but they’re often forced to cop a tirade of physical and verbal abuse as well.
The director of accident and emergency at Orange hospital Dr Greg Button told the Central Western Daily the behaviour endured by his staff is no different to the kind of behaviour that healthcare workers all over Australia are forced to deal with.
He’d like to see more done to curb alcohol consumption, including a reduction in the opening hours of pubs and clubs.
Shockingly Dr Button said women now rivalled men when it came to drinking and brawling on weekends.
Like his colleagues at the hospital, Orange paramedic Matt Pickering regularly deals with the fall-out from someone’s over-indulgence.
He’d also like regulators to look at opening hours and he wants the courts to start playing hardball when it comes to punishing anti-social behaviour.
It’s about time the community worked together to find a solution to stop the spiralling level of alcohol-fuelled violence. It’s in everyone’s interest to address the problem as there’s only so much our hard-working constabulary can do.