Bar Safe Initiative Launched in Queenstown

Thursday 8 September 2011, 9:37AM

By Queenstown Lakes District Council



The Queenstown Lakes District Council and local bars are launching a new initiative aimed at reducing a small but unwelcome element of late night, alcohol-fuelled bad behaviour in the resort.

Bar Safe will see door staff at 28 town centre bars kitted out in high-vis vests labelled “security” between midnight and 4am, providing an impression of increased numbers of officials on the streets. Bar Safe will tie in with the community guides and police, who will work together with door staff to ensure people who have been ejected from bars are not admitted elsewhere.

The strategy originated in Manchester and has been used successfully in many cities around the world. A number of New Zealand cities have adopted the scheme including Taupo, New Plymouth, Nelson, Timaru and Invercargill.

Lee Webster, regulatory and corporate manager at Lakes Environmental, which oversees liquor licensing, said the response from local bar owners had been pleasing.
“We had an extremely positive response when we approached licensees in June this year, with many expressing their interest early on,” he said.

“Queenstown is the perfect location for Bar Safe given the concentration of licensed premises in the town centre and we expect the impression of increased numbers of security officials on the streets in the early hours of the morning will influence behaviour in a positive way.”

Mayor Vanessa van Uden has been hugely supportive of Bar Safe and will be going out on the streets with the police on Saturday night to see it in action.

“We see this as the first step in a programme to reduce liquor abuse in our community,” she said.
“Bar Safe is a simple yet effective strategy for ensuring the safety of our streets while still allowing people to have a good time. It shows what can be achieved when the Council and other agencies take proactive steps to work in partnership with the industry.”

The purchase and screen printing of the vests was made possible by Hospitality New Zealand – Central Otago, Placemakers and FetchNZ.

Bar Safe officially launches at midnight tonight (Thursday 8 September)