Sober cells to tackle party violence
Sober cells to tackle party violence

Drunk partygoers who refuse to cooperate with police will soon be forced to sober up behind bars.

The NSW Government has announced it will soon begin a trial of sobering up centres, aimed at curbing alcohol-fuelled violence.

Three centres will be set up from July where drunk and disorderly partygoers in Kings Cross, The Rocks and George Street will be sent to sober up.

Rooms come with shiny floors, plenty of light and they're secure, but according to New South Wales Police Minister Mike Gallacher, they're intended to be a deterrent to binge drinkers.

"The room supplied by us isn't going to be very comfortable, it isn't going to smell very good and I guarantee you'll remember your night here for the rest of your life," he said.

"It's not about being the fun police. It's not about spoiling someone's night. It's about getting too much grog into you, becoming uncontrollable and being disorderly."

The cells at the back of the Central Local Court will house weekend drunks who refuse to move on.

While police will bring in people they think are drunk and need some time to sober up, the cells will also staff health experts, who will decide whether someone is inebriated or medically unwell.

But critics say the new program is a joke.

"This will end up being [Premier] Barry O'Farrell's fight club," Shadow Police Minister Nathan Rees said.

"It's a joke, occupied by half a dozen young men souped up to the eye balls ready to punch on."

Mr Rees says the centres are a waste of police resources and takes them away from other issues.

"What this is is a distraction from the fact the Hells Angels are still running around shooting people," he said.

The Government plans to set up two more in Coogee and Wollongong to be run by private operators if the trial proves a success.

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