A MAN was attacked by a thug in Dean Street 10 days ago in a “random act of violence” on a night when Albury’s central business district was blanketed with police.
Daryl Betteridge yesterday said the assault on the son of ex-Albury councillor Lynda Summers came as such incidents of violence in the city were declining.
The Albury Liquor Accord chairman said what was being achieved in Albury was backed up by data from both the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research and Albury Police Local Area Command.
“We’re downtrending, so what we’re doing is working,” he said.
“It’s really difficult to say a week after someone is seriously assaulted that we’re doing a good job.
“That’s because it’s emotive, it’s raw and it’s real — someone’s life has been negatively impacted.
“One of the salient points of the assault on this young man on the Saturday morning after the gold cup on the Friday is that each of the venues was incredible busy and very vibrant.”
Cr Betteridge said there was a “very strong” police presence in the central business district and likewise from the NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing, which did spot checks of venues throughout that evening of March 28.
“And this terrible incident still occurred,” he said.
“It wasn’t an alcohol-fuelled crazed evening. It was well controlled, the venues had many people removed — and I’m not talking one or two, but in the hundreds.”
Cr Betteridge said the experience of that night — when revellers peacefully made their way home — was a strong argument against the push for a 3am close.
“It’s a little bit of a knee-jerk reaction if that assault took place at between 1 and 2 o’clock in the morning,” he said.
“Albury does not have the transport infrastructure to pour 1000, 1500, 2000 people onto the street at 3am in the morning, to have them disperse quickly and efficiently out of the central business district.”
Cr Betteridge said in Wagga, all venues shutting at 3am results in a lot of violent behaviour.
“I believe we have a better formula.”