Coffs Harbour venue named state's 'most violent'

THE Plantation Hotel in Coffs Harbour has been named the most violent pub in NSW, but the venue's management says safety remains the number one focus.

Government figures released today show the bar was the scene of 21 violent incidents from July 1, 2014 to June 30 this year, joining Sydney's Home Nightclub as the state's only Level 1 venues.

That means the hotel is now subject to strict rules including a 1.30am lockout, no shots (more than 5%) served after midnight, and a limit of four drinks per customer after midnight.

The venue will also be required to implement extra security measures such as additional CCTV and guards, and digital recording devices.

Plantation Hotel staff. Photo Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate
Plantation Hotel staff. Photo Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate Trevor Veale

General manager Daniel Knox said while the venue's inclusion on the list was disappointing, recently implemented measures had already seen the number of violent incidents fall.

"It's something unfortunately that is a reflection of incidents at the venue more than 12 months ago," Mr Knox said.

"Since that time we've had a change of management and we're working very closely with police in the way we operate.

"We've implemented an ID scanner which we've found very effective, we've increased CCTV, we've put in RSA officers to distribute free water and we maintain a bar list to make sure people are staying barred for the period they should be."

The category system works by venues reporting assaults to police which are then collated by the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

"We've decided to be 100% honest and we work with police because our number one priority is patron safety," Mr Knox said.

Announcing the list today, Justice Minister Troy Grant said a state-wide crack-down on drunken violence had resulted in a 84% reduction in incidents at venues since the violence register launched in 2008.

"While just one violent incident is too many, proactive engagement with the industry together with tough liquor laws are driving down violence across the entire state," Mr Grant said.

New additions to the violence register included the Sydney Cricket Ground that had 12 incidents including four from NRL matches, three from cricket, two from rugby and AFL, and one from soccer.

The full list

Level 1 venues

Plantation Hotel (Coffs Harbour) - 21 incidents
Home Nightclub (Sydney) - 19 incidents

Level 2 venues

Beachcomber Resort and Conference Centre (Toukley) - 17 incidents
Fusion (Cronulla) - 16 incidents
Miranda Hotel (Miranda) - 12 incidents
Peach Tree Inn Hotel Crown Hotel (Parramatta) - 14 incidents
Lone Pine Tavern (Rooty Hill) - 12 incidents
PJ's Irish Pub (Parramatta) - 12 incidents
Ivy (Sydney) - 14 incidents
The World Bar (Potts Point) - 12 incidents
Florida Beach Bar (Terrigal) - 12 incidents
Oaks Hotel (Neutral Bay) - 12 incidents
Sydney Cricket Ground and Sports Ground Trust (Moore Park) - 12 incidents

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