'Crackdown is not solution'

A PROPOSED police crackdown targeting boozy behaviour in New South Wales homes will not get to the heart of the state's domestic violence problems says North Coast counsellor Julie Leete.

The Lismore-based manager of family support network Interrelate sees daily the "distressing" impact substance abuse has on local families but she says attempting to remove alcohol from the situation is not the key to making a difference.

Her comments came after NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione suggested the availability of take-away liquor at bottle shops around the state could be contributing to the high rates of domestic violence.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Scipione and a working group of high profile bureaucrats are preparing a report for the state government which calls for a review of take-away alcohol regulations and the allowed concentration of bottle shops for each region.

Ms Leete said while there was no doubt alcohol was a contributing factor to family violence, anyone with a drinking problem would "always find what they need somewhere".

"Often we see violent situations when families don't have too much money and one of the parents is drinking a lot," she said.

"The financial factor can cause a lot of arguments when money could be being spent on children, food, health etc.

"It is an awful thing. I see it every day, it is very distressing."

While she accepted alcohol was easily accessible, Ms Leete said government resources could be better spent on counselling services for addicts and their victims.

"I would suggest that with all substance abuse problems there are underlying issues which are often much more complex than just the addiction alone," she said.


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