Thursday, July 25, 2024

New campaign addresses violence and crime in liquor stores

Retail Drinks Australia has launched a national initiative to better protect the workforce of liquor stores across the country.

The ‘Safe to Serve’ campaign brings together a coalition of leading industry voices, businesses and government entities to improve safety at retail liquor outlets through education, awareness and advocacy.

Retail Drinks CEO Michael Waters says the initiative is about protecting both workers and customers to ensure liquor stores remain safe, especially during the busy Christmas and summer periods.

“We know criminals are increasingly targeting our liquor stores meaning the staff in our industry are constantly at risk. It’s a challenge we can no longer ignore which is why we are launching Safe to Serve,” he says.

“Christmas is one of our busiest periods and that brings an increased risk of violence and abuse for our staff.

“Robberies, violence and assault can have a lasting impact on anyone including a traumatic effect on bystanders and witnesses which is why Safe to Serve is targeted at keeping not only our staff but our customers safe.

“We look forward to working closely with our members, partners, and stakeholders to make our vision of a safer and more responsible retail liquor industry a reality.”

Online toolkit

As part of the initiative, Retail Drinks has developed an online toolkit which will be made available to liquor stores across the country. This comprehensive resource includes information on essential topics like working with local police, improving security measures and will teach staff within the industry how to apply de-escalation principles.

The toolkit also contains in-store posters and advertising materials for liquor store owners to display, encouraging responsible behaviour among customers and to staff.

“Staff working within the retail liquor industry experience a heightened risk of violence and assault due our industry’s late operating hours, cash handling and the influence of alcohol,” says Mr Waters.

“We want to do everything we can to ensure our staff are supported and this toolkit is just one of the ways we can help all staff and customers become aware of the risks within the industry.”

The Safe to Serve initiative has been developed with the support of key stakeholders including Australia Post, Coles Liquor, Endeavour Group, Metcash, NSW Police, Red Bottle, Redfern Retail Risk, Uber, and Vantage Group.

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