The National, Wednesday July 10th, 2013
ALL night clubs will be forced to shut by 2am and offenders are liable to be imprisoned, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told Parliament yesterday.
O’Neill said many night clubs had been abusing the alcohol trading hours and were open for business till early hours of the morning, which had contributed to many social problems.
He said he had directed the Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga to instruct police to forcefully shut the night clubs operating after 2am and have the offenders – club owners, managers and employees – behind bars.
The prime minister said in other countries the club owners, managers and staff were held responsible for the actions of drunkards if they continued to serve them after hours and when they were already drunk.
“We should also have similar laws here. We need laws that control the clubs and have those offenders put in prison while we need a law that will hold those mangers, club owners and staff held responsible,” he said.
O’Neill said the National Government could not take long-term preventive measures at present because the powers and functions such as issuance of trading licences and control mechanisms had been given to the provinces.
He added that the Government would consider enacting legislation to control alcohol abuse as it was causing many social problems within the community.
O’Neill was responding to questions from Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape on night club trading hours and reports of under-aged children being forced into prostitution and other illegal practices.
“We must not play down the damage to our young people; we need to take appropriate action,” he added.