CONCERNS over mounting alcohol-related violence in the Orange central business district has prompted Orange councillors to consider hosting a community forum for people to voice their opinions on solutions to the problems.
The Central Western Daily recently comprised a series of articles entitled Orange After Dark which brought to light how quickly alcohol-related assaults can occur.
Mayor John Davis said the media attention prompted members of the community to approach council to discuss how to solve the anti-social behaviour associated with late night trading.
Cr Davis said he would support a community forum for members of the public, publicans, police and taxi drivers to air their concerns and help be part of the solution.
“It’s certainly a worthy cause and it would be interesting to talk to other councils to see how they deal with it, to see if they do it any better,” he said.
“We need a forum that’s not just a talk fest.
“The time is right, it is sad to say but the time is right to look at it.”
Crime prevention committee chair Glenn Taylor said council was organising meetings with various groups in the community to hear solutions.
“We’re now going to put together a number of meetings that will be full and frank,” he said.
“There’s been a number of people approach council with a lot of ideas, we’re going to talk to publicans, taxis and police of course.”
Cr Davis said the community needed to be aware that is was a small minority of people who cause the trouble and that often the trouble is combined with the use of illicit drugs.
“There’s no solution that doesn’t involve the crackdown on drugs,” he said.
Cr Davis said he had been told by a cross-section of the community that illegal drugs were responsible for the majority of the problem.
“Drinking in itself is not the cause of some of this outlandish behaviour,” he said.
“I’ll bet there’s a lot of heavy drinkers out there who never get into trouble.”
Click the image above to read the Orange After Dark series.