POLL: Orange is not a violent city: Hamling

VIOLENT incidents which grab national media attention can create a perception that Orange is a dangerous city and can significantly impact on tourism, community safety and crime prevention committee chair Jason Hamling says. 

But according to councillor Hamling, any perception Orange is a violent city is far from reality.

 While an incident which saw 19-year-old Tom Brown allegedly punched by Karl Sibley and rushed to hospital on Saturday night was tragic, people need to remember these incidents do not happen regularly, Cr Hamling said. 

“It’s a minority of people who are responsible and the majority should not be punished,” he said. 

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He said current media attention focused on unprovoked attacks and meant the perception of violence in Orange was far greater than reality.

That’s especially considering non-domestic violence related assaults had gone down by 21 per cent over a two-year period in Orange from September 2011 to September 2013. 

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According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, assaults in Orange decreased by six per cent over the same period of time.

Mr Hamling said it was partly due to proactive police work, where officers are seen on the streets and in pubs, but also because of the Orange Liquor Accord and publicans doing their utmost to curb alcohol-related violence.

The liquor accord has already imposed lockouts at 1am and closing times of 3am and the strategy could easily work in places like Kings Cross and the Sydney CBD, Cr Hamling said. 

He said he did not think restrictions needed to be any more stringent because the statistics suggest it was working.

nicole,kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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