Gladstone tops state for banning drunks from city bars

THE Gladstone community's fight against drunken violence has delivered the city the highest number of pub lockouts in the state.

A year after Gladstone Police began the community-funded Operation Parasol, Gladstones Magistrates Court has banned about 200 people from the city's licensed venues.

More than 443 people have also been arrested on 530 charges relating to drunken violence in the CBD.

Gladstone Police Inspector Les Bullus told members of the CBD Community Safety Committee on Wednesday that prior to the initiative, drunken assaults, and even assaults on police officers, had skyrocketed.

Between 2010/11 and 2011/12, Gladstone had seen a 45% increase in offences against the person.

Insp Bullus said police officers fresh from the academy had left the force rather than be deployed to the region.

The $3450-a-night Operation Parasol initiative involves five police officers patrolling Gladstone's entertainment precinct on Friday and Saturday nights, with community, small business and industry picking up the tab.

Insp Bullus said Operation Parasol had seen a 30% reduction in the number of assaults in Gladstone's CBD since Parasol began last June.

As a result, Mr Bullus said he was prepared to reduce the number of patrol officers from five to three in the future.

"If we were to reduce the number of officers tomorrow, we would still have problems," Insp Bullus said.

While Gladstone Police linked the increase in assaults to the LNG boom, breakfast guest speaker and APLNG community relations manager Rob Gibb said there was a problem with Gladstone's drinking culture.

"The problem is, unfortunately, Gladstone's full of CUBs - cashed-up bogans," Mr Gibb said.



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