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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Watching Big Brother

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Regarding your Echonetdaily story about street violence and CCTV cameras in Byron Bay.

The UK has the most CCTV cameras of any nation in the world and those cameras have done little to bring down street violence in that nation as the last round of riots showed.

We are seeing an ever-encroaching surveillance mentality dressed up as civil concern. The people calling for this in Byron are a few businesses who do not want to have their valuable cash cow ruined, working under the assumption that those causing the violence are people from other nearby towns. Of course as usual the true cause of this desire for violent acting-out by testosterone- and alcohol-fuelled adolescents is totally ignored. In a culture that deems that the distribution of alcohol is a far more important thing that the wellbeing and mental health of its youth, what Byron Bay represents is the extremity.

Every Friday and Saturday – and even week nights – one can see the alcohol brain-damaged minions on the streets, wandering aimlessly, drunk as skunks and looking for something more to make their night a real ‘rage’. And rage they do, mostly against the hapless keepers of the peace. Those who are responsible for this sodden drunkenness are those who wilfully supply the alcohol that fuels it. There is no other way these people would be so drunk if it was not for the ready availability of alcohol, without limits and without social restraint. Yet this dangerous and socially destructive drug, alcohol, is legal and generally its consumption is unmonitored and unpoliced apart for licensing requirements.

Having created the image of Byron bay as a ‘party town’, those giving the parties are obviously disturbed by the increasing number of gatecrashers, yet their only answer is to photograph them and prosecute them in the hope that they will go elsewhere ‘like rats’ and carry on their antisocial behaviour there instead. Not much of a solution really is it?

M Mizzi, Tabulam

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  1. So what do we do ; nothing? I agree with your stance on the ease of availability when it comes to alcohol, and the obvious behaviour it promotes. I also agree that very little regulating is done asides from licensed premises checks, but as far as saying that the CCTV idea is put forth by a few businesses trying to protect their ‘cash cow’ is a little far fetched. I’m sure there is also a lot of support from the victims and families of these brutal crimes too. Not to mention the residents that are constantly effected.
    As for the comments about England and their CCTV efforts; it does work. Did you see how many thugs and cretans were brought to justice post crime because of those cameras? Cant argue with results. And to all those worried about the Big Brother arguement; if you are doing nothing wrong, whats the problem?
    I wont turn this letter into a pro-marajuana session; but you cant deny it should be the other way round. Legalize pot and restict alcohol sales. Imagine that: almost 0 violence, everyone laughing and having a good time, takeaway sales would be through the roof, and no need for CCTV 😉 Everybody wins.
    In fact in a recent study, it was stated that if alcohol was introduced now into todays society, there is no way it would be legal. Forget convention; its time to completely overhaul Australias thuggish reputation for alcohol consumption and in turn save the lives of the drinkers, their victims, and our reputation.

  2. The calming effects of cannabis are well known. It’s high-time (pun intended) Byron Shire led Australia in the cannabis revolution and permitted smoking cafes and cannabis eateries as an alternative to the crazy alcohol… option? It’s hardly an option when it’s alcohol or alcohol. Separate the alcohol dens from the cannabis cafes, and watch the problem sort itself out.


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