“IF you throw a punch, you are out for life – clear and simple.”
That is the new deal Blackwater Hotel Motel manager Steve Glare offers patrons, a straight-forward declaration that aims to stamp out antisocial behaviour in and around his premises.
“If people want to fight on or near our premises during trading hours they will be given life bans,” he said.
“I want my patrons to be safe and enjoy their night out.
“I want them to know that they are not going to see idiots throwing their fists around.
“People don’t like seeing other people getting knocked out – it’s ridiculous. And people don’t enjoy seeing women and men fighting out the front.
“It is primitive behaviour as far as I am concerned and it isn’t going to be tolerated.
“It highlights a total disregard for the premises, patrons and everyone else around.”
The first people to feel the wrath of the new approach are two men, who Mr Glare said were nothing more than friends in a minor disagreement who took it too far, leading to “fisticuffs” at the venue a couple of weekends ago.
“As far as I’m concerned, I never want to see them again,” he said.
Police and Mr Glare said Blackwater did not have an alcohol-fuelled violence problem, and in general the behaviour of patrons in licensed premises throughout the town was of a high order.
“However, after people have been consuming alcohol, their sensibilities can be impaired which on occasion will result in disturbances and assaults occurring inside and outside licensed premises,” Blackwater police Sergeant Chris Clague said.
“New legislation has been released where police can make an application to a magistrate for a court-ordered banning order to be put in place against any person who commits an act of violence or wilful damage within or surrounding a licensed venue.
“At present Blackwater police have applied for three court banning orders, however these matters are yet to be finalised.”
The Blackwater Liquor Accord will meet in the coming weeks to discuss further strategies with a view to supporting the “one punch can kill” campaign.
Mr Glare and the staff at Blackwater Hotel Motel will impose their own anti-violence strategy, which he said came on the back of liquor licensing increasing stringency when it came to making sure licensed venues operated within requirements.
“Just the other day in Melbourne a bloke got sucker punched and died. That’s what can happen,” he said.
“I have taken it a step further than the three or six-month bans handed out through the liquor accord. With me, if you play up you’re banned for life.”
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