Northbridge is the Kings Cross of Perth. It's the nightlife centre for the city. So not surprisingly there are regular reports of drunken violence on Friday and Saturday nights. And it's long been that way. 

But in recent years the intensity and frequency of these events has gone up quite a bit. It seems that every few weeks you hear about some savage beating, knife attack or glassing. And there's even been the odd fatality.

And you don't even have to go in there on a weekend evening to see such behaviour. Late last week I was having a cheap meal at Govinda's (The Hare Krishna restaurant in William St). I heard some yelling outside. Some people were looking over towards the Horseshoe Bridge. 

Then I saw a scruffy looking old guy shuffle past in the direction of the Brass Monkey. He turned back a couple of times and yelled a few insults at someone else. After finishing my meal I walked off towards the train station. I saw another old guy, clearly inebriated, with a couple of cops outside the Heath Ledger Theatre. He was claiming to have been robbed, waving vaguely in my direction. 

The cop actually looked straight at me and asked him if I was his attacker. The old guy shook his head, I proclaimed my innocence and the cop apologized. I think what had happened was that the two old drunks had had a fight and cops were called in to sort out the mess. 

I saw another sad sight on Saturday arvo. I was walking down James Street and saw a bloke lying unconscious in front of the Westpac bank. I went into the TAB and asked if they knew the number of the local police station so I could alert them. The old bloke behind the counter snorted and said, "Don't worry about it. This is Northbridge mate!" 

That line spoke volumes. He'd clearly seen stuff like this countless times.

Anyway, I Googled the number on my phone and called the cops. But just as I began telling an operator the drunk's location, a couple of cops arrived on the scene. So clearly someone else had called them about the man. That was good to know because most people were just walking straight past him. 

Of course you'll see scenes like the ones I've described in the entertainment districts of all big cities in Australia. But what was notable was that these both occurred in broad daylight. I dread to think what the place is now like on a Friday or Saturday night. Northbridge is clearly a much more dangerous and depressing place than it was back in the eighties when I used to go out to nightclubs there myself.