A police and industry-led pre-cursor to the Pilbara’s banned drinkers register which significantly reduced booze-fuelled violence was honoured at the WA Liquor Industry awards in Perth last weekend. Ex-South Hedland police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Jeremy Marklew and Port Hedland licensee Brent Rudler were named joint winners of the quiet achiever award for their efforts in making positive community change. The pair’s leadership in rolling out the Hedland Liquor Strategy in 2020 was commended for reducing family violence by 20 per cent, crime by 40 per cent and ambulance callouts by 40 per cent. Speaking to Liquor Stores Association of WA at the event, Mr Rudler said the collaboration between police and industry in Port Hedland was a beacon for the rest of WA. “I am hoping from here we get other areas of the State, including the metro areas, starting to stand up and think about doing things differently,” he said. “Police need to be working with industry and industry has to work with police “We have had big issues with sly grogging statewide so there is a lot more work to be done.” Mr Rudler said the banned drinkers register was a good “machine” to drive change, but needed to be strengthened. “I see the machine could be used even for restricting people with drink driving offences,” he said. “You use and abuse alcohol, you are going to pay a penalty.” The Hedland Liquor Strategy was formed to strengthen collaboration between liquor store owners and police in a bid to help problem drinkers turn their lives around. During its run liquor outlets would send information to police with details of individuals who were flouting the law, which enabled local officers to ban people from buying alcohol in town. Sen Sgt Marklew, now based in Midland, said seeing the program recognised was humbling. “Police, liquor licensees, services, health, education, community, Aboriginal corporations — everyone is working extremely hard because Hedland is a tight-knit community,” he said. “We all want to be going in the same direction so we need to be talking and working together. “The outcome for everyone is having a healthy, strong, safe community.” LSAWA noted the strategy made Port Hedland one of the safest towns in WA during the height of the pandemic. Small Business and Racing and Gaming Minister Reece Whitby said Sen Sgt Marklew and Mr Rudler’s work was critical in getting the banned drinkers register off the ground. “These initiatives to reduce alcohol related harm are only possible with the support of the community,” he said. Police Minister Paul Papalia was acknowledged for his commitment to the banned drinkers register while tasked with the portfolio during the McGowan government’s first term. LSAWA chief executive Peter Peck said this year’s event was acknowledged those who went under the radar for their hard work. "The Liquor Industry Awards recognise some of the individuals, teams and families who go above and beyond – sometimes in very difficult circumstances – to provide responsible, diverse and sustainable service in almost every town in WA,” he said. Mr Whitby has flagged legislation changes on multiple occasions this year to widen the banned drinkers register’s net.