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Warnings as police blitz regional NSW pubs

Police have blitzed more than 1000 pubs and other licensed venues in regional NSW to check they are complying with COVID-safety rules and crack down on alcohol-related crime.

Only 19 venues were issued warnings of the 1056 inspected by police, and none were issued with infringements.

But 65 people were arrested and 68 charges laid including assault, resisting arrest, possessing prohibited drugs and malicious damage.

Police found 146 breaches of the Liquor and Gaming Act and issued 37 infringements.

Out of 1165 random breath checks, 35 people were found to be over the limit.

Police in the Northern, Southern and Western regions carried out the operation on Friday and Saturday, targeting alcohol-related crime, anti-social behaviour, public disorder, assaults and COVID safety.

The operation is conducted regularly but its remit has been broadened to include compliance with public health orders.

The operation’s commander, Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell, said in a statement he was pleased that most venues were complying with COVID procedures.

“As more people travel throughout the state, we must stay aware of COVID-19 and continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing,” he said.

“Licensing police will be following up with those venues who are not abiding by the Liquor and Gaming Act to ensure summer in the regions is safe and enjoyable for all,” he said.

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