19 Aug, 2015

New Strategies To Combat Anti-Social Behaviour In The Park Lands

City of Adelaide’s Economic and Community Development Committee tonight voted to develop a series of new strategies to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour in the Park Lands.

To enable time for this to happen, the Committee voted to apply to the Commissioner for Consumer Services, Liquor and Gambling for a 12 month extension to the timed Park Lands dry area until 22 September 2016, subject to endorsement by full Council on Tuesday, 25 August.

Community consultation on the trial was carried out from 23 December 2014 until 20 July 2015. Thirty one responses were received, with 20 supportive of the continuation of the dry area.

As part of the evaluation, a number of strategies have been identified by the Senior Officer’s Group to address alcohol related anti-social behaviour and support vulnerable people with drug and alcohol dependencies.

Sean McNamara, Program Manager, City Safety and Customer Services, said that a further 12 month extension to the Park Lands dry area will provide reassurance to the local community while the strategies are further investigated and implemented.

“The dry area is just one part of an overall management plan involving a number of strategies and a range of services to manage the issues and ensure we have safe and responsible use of the Park Lands,” said Sean.

“The final evaluation concluded that while there some positive effects for the local community and the use of public space, there are negative effects on vulnerable people with drug and alcohol addictions that require work to be done to address their health and welfare needs.

“The Senior Officer’s Group, in collaboration with health and social services, has identified a range of strategies that aim to address the issues associated with alcohol and drug addiction among vulnerable people who use public areas.

“The Group has committed to the further investigation and development of these strategies with the aim that they will, over time, remove the need for a dry area in the Park Lands.”

The strategies include vulnerable people being able to reduce fines accrued by voluntarily entering into drug and alcohol treatment, developing a Vulnerable Person’s Framework similar to what is in place in Ceduna, looking into how a harm minimisation accommodation model could be implemented, and investigating designated safe sit areas for large groups in the Park Lands.

The Park Lands dry area trial was introduced on 22 December 2014 in response to alcohol related anti-social behaviour in the southern Park Lands. The Park Lands dry area is across all Park Lands and is in place from 8pm until 11am the following day. The city’s street and squares are 24 hour dry areas, and have been since 2001.

The recommendations from the Economic and Community Development Committee are yet to be endorsed by full Council and are subject to change.

For more information

Paula Stevens