Bar serious about behaviour worries

Starters Bar management was keen to promote good behaviour and had installed 17 security cameras providing extensive internal and external coverage, a liquor licensing committee heard yesterday.

The Dunedin District Licensing Committee is considering an application from bar owner, the Otago University Students Association Inc, for new liquor licence, after a change of bar ownership.

The Dunedin bar is situated on the corner of Frederick and Clyde Sts.

The committee heard the cameras also produced high-resolution images of the street nearby, and two further cameras could be installed.

Images would be provided to police or the proctor if required, the committee heard.

The OUSA licence application has been challenged by a neighbouring landlord who said her tenants had found broken glass, urine and vomit nearby.

A licence from the bar's previous ownership expired yesterday but the bar would continue trading on a temporary licence, pending the outcome of yesterday's hearing, the committee indicated.

OUSA was represented by chief executive officer Debbie Downs and events manager Jason Schroeder.

Ms Downs said OUSA took full responsibility for patrons attending the bar, but OUSA could not be responsible for dealing with other unrelated behaviour, beyond the bar, which OUSA had no control over.

The committee heard that bar management had installed a taller wooden fence to discourage people from trying to jump or climb over from an adjacent private property into the bar courtyard, and had boosted yard security.

Kathryn Seque, who runs two flats next to the bar, in Frederick St and Clyde St, said tenants had been distressed by unauthorised people continuing to enter private property and seeking access to the bar.

Bottles had been thrown over a fence into one of the properties.

Police alcohol harm prevention officer Sergeant Ian Paulin said some of the reports were largely anecdotal.

There was no bar off-licence and patrons were not permitted to take bottles away from the on-licence.

Ms Seque said some patrons undertook "pre-loading'' drinking before entering the bar.

They had concealed near the street those bottles they had been drinking from before they entered the bar, and sometimes later threw them over a fence.

The committee comprised chairman Colin Weatherall and members Colin Lind and Peter Burrows.

Mr Weatherall was pleased there was continuing dialogue between the bar ownership and Ms Seque and "there's a willingness to find a solution - that's significant''.

Without prejudice to the outcome, there had been an uncommon degree of support for the application from officials submitting to the committee, including police and Public Health South, he said.

The committee decision was adjourned, and it is understood that the licence application outcome will be announced in about a week.


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