Over the Christmas period I was stopped in the street on a number of occasions by residents complaining about being forced to provide photo identification at bottle shops.
What was first thought to be a temporary measure to reduce alcohol-fueled disturbances in Hannan Street and Burt Street is now set to become more permanent.
It would be easy for me to join the naysayers and criticise the move but I can’t, not when the trial over summer was so successful.
Local police advised this week’s Liquor Accord meeting that the ID checks were the single most successful strategy to reduce crime, violence and anti-social behavior in our two CBDs.
Similar requirements have operated in the north of the State for a number of years and residents accept the inconvenience as a way of life.
As your mayor, I support the police who are at the coal-face every day and while some of you will be peeved to be asked for identification at bottle shops, I’m sure most will agree it is a small inconvenience to pay for safer streets.
Liquor retailers at the Accord meeting agreed to go along with an extension of the strategy.
From now on you must provide either a current passport, a driver’s licence with photograph or a WA Proof of Age Card.
The Liquor Accord meeting was told the police will also crack down on bootlegging, where grog has been sold early in the day before bottle shops open at 11am, and they will target people who coerce others to purchase liquor on their behalf.
As a part of these two measures and the need for ID, the City will provide signs to liquor outlets and a public education campaign explaining the campaign and its benefits.
The City’s Safer Streets Patrol will continue to work with police and other government agencies to make the streets safer, and coordinate the many services available to people living on the streets.
The “Purple Patrol”, as they are affectionately known, does a fantastic job.
As well as supporting the tougher Liquor Accord moves, I will continue to push for the extension of the Cashless Debit Card to those who move here for any length of time.
The Indue Card works in reducing anti-social behavior but that is undermined when 100 per cent cash cards arrive in town.