New campaign aims to reduce drunken violence in CBD

GLADSTONE Regional Council and local police, along with other stakeholders, have banded together in a bid to squash alcohol-fuelled violence in the CBD, with the launch of a fresh campaign on Thursday.

The Be Safe: It's Your Responsibility initiative was launched at the Gladstone campus of CQUniversity, with dignitaries and law enforcement officials present to kick off the program, which will be trialled in Gladstone and Rockhampton.

Assistant Commissioner of police for Central Region Mike Condon was present at the launch, and told of the reasoning behind trialling the co-operative approach in central Queensland hubs.

"We've identified Rockhampton and Gladstone are two areas that we believe, if we work together with community and business and local government, we can reduce the alcohol-related violence complaints we're seeing within the CBD," he said.

"We have seen a reduction in the last 12 months of about 2%. Whilst that's encouraging, in my view we can do a lot more."

With the success of Gladstone's Operation Parasol in cracking down on CBD violence of a Friday and Saturday night, Mr Condon said Rockhampton also had similar protocols in place.

"We've also got the MET, which is the Mobile Enforcement Taskforce, which takes a whole-of-government approach to addressing anti-social disorder," he said.

Central to the success of the Be Safe initiative will be the support of businesses and licensed venues.

"Absolutely, they're (businesses) a critical partnership in what we're trying to achieve," Mr Condon said.

"But, equally, smart business people will understand that if they can promote the Be Safe ideology, customers will go to their premises believing they can enjoy the company of each other, responsibly enjoy alcohol, good food and go home safely."

Queensland Homicide Victims’ Support Group general manager Ross Thompson addresses the crowd at the Be Safe launch in Gladstone.
Queensland Homicide Victims’ Support Group general manager Ross Thompson addresses the crowd at the Be Safe launch in Gladstone. Jake Jones

Victims support group head joins violence prevention launch

A MAN whose family was torn apart by horrific violence is inspirationally refusing to let it define him.

Ross Thompson, general manager of the Queensland Homicide Victims' Support Group, lost his son in a brutal Toowoomba triple murder in 2005.

Now, he is dedicated to taking the One Punch Can Kill campaign to the state's youth, in a bid to save other families from the trauma his has endured.

"It's (One Punch Can Kill) enormous, it's something that we're very passionate about and something that we need to get out there in a big way," he said.

"If we can just save one person from being taken, then it's all worth it, it just prevents the trauma of other families going through that."

Mr Thompson was in Gladstone on Thursday for the launch of the new Be Safe: It's Your Responsibility campaign, and said he was determined to help kids understand the enormity of senseless violence.

"Between the ages of 14 and 19 is 67% of all assaults in Queensland. That's enormous. If we can just bring that back down to a reality it'd be far better," Mr Thompson said.

"It's just so important that we get out there to the kids and try and educate them to think twice and to look after their mates.

"I lost a son, I am a victim, I actually lost two sons ... I don't want to see any other family go through the trauma that we've gone through," he said.

Be Safe messages:

  • Be prepared - plan your night
  • Enjoy alcohol responsibly - know your limits
  • Stay safe - watch your mates
  • Avoid drugs - not worth the risk
  • Fighting is not okay - one punch can kill