NIP leader: Alcohol-related violence rising

Islands, Normal

The National , Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ALCOHOL-fuelled violence is rife in rural areas of New Ireland, a community leader said.
James Mamus, a community leader in the Tikana LLG of Kavieng district, said a major contributing factor was bottle shops not adhering to strict operating hours.
He criticised bottle shop owners in the rural areas for not honouring an agreement to stick to sanctioned operating hours.
Mamus said bottle shops operated whenever they wanted to.
He said the onus was on the provincial liquor licensing office to regulate and inspect the operations of liquor sellers after issuing them licences.
Mamus said there were many alcohol sellers in the province and questioned whether they had attained their licences legally.
He said the alcohol-fuelled violence was a concern for the community and alcohol distributing business houses in Kavieng district.
Mamus said alcohol distributors in the district had unanimously agreed that police should be gi­ven the mandate to deal with liquor licencing.
“Police should be the ones spearheading an interim committee supported by other stakehol­ders, community representatives and the provincial government,” he said.
They suggested that more awareness and educational programmes be initiated on the issue and called for tougher laws and penalties for those who breached the Liquor Licensing Act.
Acting provincial station commander Michael Kereu believes the root of alcohol abuse is an attitude problem.