Shadow Police Minister Rob Lucas said today that Premier Rann had to make time to meet with representatives of the Hindley Street traders to listen to their concerns about violence on Hindley Street.
Traders this week again wrote to Premier Rann seeking an urgent appointment after receiving no response at all to their letter to Mr Rann early last month.
“Traders are getting increasingly concerned that their pleas for a meeting and for a permanent solution to Hindley Street’s problems are continuing to be ignored by the Premier and the Government,” Mr Lucas said.
“They want a permanent solution to the violence and behaviour problems because they claim they have been raising their concerns with the government for a number of years now.”
Whilst traders welcome short-term increased police attention they highlight that the problem soon returns after the extra police disappear.
Representatives of the traders association met with the Liberal Party on Friday and revealed that:
• some taxi drivers were telling tourists not to visit Hindley Street at night;
• whilst the Adelaide City Council was encouraging people to live in the CBD some residents were being told not to visit Hindley Street at night;
• some Hindley Street traders will not walk down Hindley Street at night without being accompanied by their own security staff;
• some traders had had enough and were now looking to get out; and
• they were angry the government appeared to be trying to blame all the problems back on to some of the traders such as the licensed premises.
Traders believe that a major part of the solution is a permanent increased police foot patrol presence in Hindley Street on Friday and Saturday evenings when most of the problems occur. They want Hindley Street to be treated as a special case because of its importance as a nightlife and entertainment focus for tourists and locals.
“The Premier must now listen to these concerns and the Government should ensure that some of the extra 400 police to be employed will be used to provide a permanent increased foot patrol presence in Hindley Street.”