Lollipops no answer to the Cross's problems
18/07/2012 - The debate over street violence in Kings Cross has descended into farce with council recommendations to hand out lollipops to patrons as they listen to "wind-down" music.
"Council is living in la-la land if they think that is going to solve the issues of street violence in Kings Cross," AHA (NSW) CEO Paul Nicolaou said.
"What next - whippy vans moving up and down Darlinghurst Road? The problems are not in the venues, the problems are out on the street…with people committing criminal acts at all hours of the night.
"That is why we have been advocating a zero tolerance approach to street violence and high visibility policing.
"The Lord Mayor was on the right track last week when she called for an integrated public transport system to clear people from the Cross quickly late at night.
"This is the kind of thing we should be focusing on – not gimmicks like handing out lollipops.
"Rather than sectors working in isolation throwing up ideas that are not practical, we need to come together to thrash out a plan that will work and addresses these key needs.
"Following consultation, the AHA (NSW) puts forward a four-point plan to immediately address street violence and antisocial behaviour in the Cross:
1. Shut down Darlinghurst Rd between Bayswater Rd and Macleay Street to cars between 8pm and 4am each Friday and Saturday night providing for free passage of pedestrians. Have markets or other entertainment.
2. Provide high visibility policing including a mobile station at Darlinghurst Rd and Bayswater Rd, walking the beat creating a secure zone.
3. Integrate public transport - provide secure taxi ranks and transport hubs at each end, adopt the Lord Mayors shuttle train idea and provide security on the train and at Town Hall and split the taxi changeover; and
4. Enforce zero tolerance for people doing the wrong thing – you will see changes overnight."
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