CLOSING the city’s pubs at midnight is not the answer to antisocial behaviour, says crime prevention committee member Gavin Hillier.
Mr Hillier will go in to bat for Orange hotel patrons to prevent the early closure of late-night trading venues.
The Orange and District Ministers Fraternal, a group of church leaders from around Orange, is calling on late-night traders to adopt a month-long trial of a midnight closing time in response to recent publicity about alcohol-related violence in the central business district.
Mr Hillier said an early closure would force problems into the suburbs, punished those who did the right thing when they went out and was a simplistic answer to a complicated issue.
He said those calling for an early closure did not understand the nature of the problem because they were not out in Orange after dark.
Mr Hillier said he would push for possible solutions to violence in the CBD as a member of the crime prevention committee. The solutions came from the suggestions of young people through Mr Hillier’s connections and his Facebook page.
Mr Hillier said he also wanted a confirmed date for a youth forum on the issue.
“Young people need to speak up because if they don’t, those who don’t go out with make the decision for them,” he said.
Some of the solutions include alcohol-free times during trading, such as a 10 to 15 minute each hour when people cannot buy alcohol.
Venues that are on level one restrictions already adopt this measure.
Other ideas include staggered closing times on a rotational roster, an alcohol-free hour after curfew, lower alcohol content of drinks, serving finger food after midnight and having security guards from all venues in radio contact.
“It means if someone gets kicked out for causing trouble then security can radio the others down the street to forewarn them,” Mr Hillier said.
“Staggered closing times allow the taxis to pick people up out the front.”
Mr Hillier said people needed to understand there had to be compromise, but closing the doors was not the solution.