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Australia alcohol misuse: Your comments

11 December 09 22:10 GMT

Police in Australia are beginning what is being described as their biggest-ever coordinated operation to try to curb soaring rates of alcohol-related violence.

For the next two nights thousands of extra officers are being deployed.

BBC News website readers have been sending us their views on the story.

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I just witnessed this crackdown in action just now in a quiet, middle class pub in Sydney. Six cops and a sniffer dog. One young guy got chucked out (my assumption is drugs or had a burger so the dog was excited) and some slightly drunk mature gentleman made a silly comment and got reprimanded by an undercover cop in a T-shirt. Bad example but I think it's a good thing they are doing this blitz and the cops were very professional. I'm a POM living in Sydney for three years and it is interesting to observe the similarities and differences in drinking culture. In Australia, beer and sport seem to be more intertwined. Drinking a beer at your seat whilst watching cricket, rugby or soccer is part of the culture. I think Australian bouncers and pubs are a bit more switched on and say "how many drinks have you had tonight" and "no, you've had enough". Also they do the rounds and say "you are drunk, please leave".
Andy Ball, Sydney, Australia

As a recovered booze artist, who grew up in Australia, I suspect that this "crackdown" is just one more political cartoon, to hopefully hoodwink the average punter into believing that the government actually gives a damn. Having lived in Australia for 30 years, I know only too well the vested interest the large brewers have in sustaining government coffers. The alcohol purveyors have tremendous political clout, and this "crackdown" is nothing more than an attempt to quell intelligent debate on the obvious cultural problem Australia has with alcohol. The "you're not a real bronze Aussie if you don't get blotto at least a couple of times a week" is alive and well, and will always be until the government treats the abuse of alcohol in the same way as they treated tobacco, that is, make it extremely uncool!
Kevin James Burrows, Hedgesville, USA

I think that whilst the Australian system is designed to restrict the effects of alcohol-related violence, it does more to drive it underground. From a professional point of view you are trained to look for signs of intoxication, which could be anything from stuttering to threatening to stab someone, and then you should refuse service. Which leads to a culture of hiding your 'drunkenness' and continuing to drink. I really think that education, rather than punishment would prove to be a better deterrent. Here in Oz, the authorities' intention seems to be scaring the consumer, rather than informing them of the risks.
Neil Lunn, Coogee, NSW, Australia

Young people in Australia who fall into the category of being drunk and violent don't care much for the police or the consequences of their actions. This is because the magistrates who deal with these offenders don't care much either and hand out obscenely lenient punishment. The police are always on the "back foot" trying to contain the epidemic of violence. What is needed is a zero tolerance policy. Personally I am sick of seeing bottles of alcohol being consumed in the streets of suburbs and on public transport. The disease is growing every year and consuming the lives of our young whilst the government rakes in the taxes from excise.
Guy, Fitzroy North, Australia

Alcohol-related violence is caused by alcohol. Limit access to alcohol, then alcohol related violence is reduced.
Steven Howe, Mackay, Queensland, Australia

It isn't about how much people drink but more about how they drink. In places like Australia and the UK, drinking often means, binge drinking which leads to homicide, fighting, criminal damage etc. They may drink more in countries like France, but the impression I get is that it is more like a couple of glasses of wine with dinner every day, probably not binge drinking.
Gav, Melbourne, Australia

Police should take more serious action to stop alcohol-related violence. People should look for other ways to enjoy and entertain themselves instead of getting pleasure from drinking which eventually will destroy them as well as others.
Den, Melbourne

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