Safer Bars Pilot Program Underway

Safer Bars Pilot Program Underway

Victoria Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien

Minister Launches Pilot To Manage Aggressive Patrons

Victor P Taffa

A Pilot Program helping licensees and their staff manage patron aggression in their venues is underway in Victoria.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien said the Program, Safer Bars, formed a vital part of the Baillieu Government’s commitment to reducing alcohol fuelled violence.

“The Baillieu Government has committed to banning violent drunks from licensed premises for 12 months, rewarding licensees for good behaviour and introducing a demerit point system for licensees who flout Victoria’s laws.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Consistent feedback from licensees and the industry has also shown a strong need for industry training on managing aggression in licensed premises.”

“Aggression in licensed premises is a broader problem than simply ensuring responsible service of alcohol, as often patrons can arrive at the venue intoxicated or staff themselves can contribute to the escalation of aggression issues.” Mr. O’Brien said.

Responsible Alcohol Victoria has engaged Bar Guardians Pty Ltd to pilot the Safer Bars program to approximately 270 licensed premises staff in Victoria.

The three-hour Program draws on prevention research from around the world, and has the specific focus of reducing risk factors and enhancing staff skills to prevent aggression.

Under the Program, a trainer visits the venue to:

• Undertake a risk assessment of the venue;

• Assess the systems and procedures of the venue;

• Interview staff to assess the adequacy of the systems and procedures;

• Deliver the Safer Bars training program.

Mr. O’Brien said the trial would be completed by the end of March and would be followed by an evaluation providing recommendations in further developing the training Program.

Participants in the trial have included Davies Hotel in Frankston, Chasers in Prahran, Inflation in Melbourne’s CBD, Bendigo’s Star Sports and Music Bar and Metro Puggs Irish Bar and the Manhattan Hotel in Ringwood.