‘Idiots’ be warned

Putting his foot down: Martin Sinclair (left, with Dom Altobelli) is proud to usher the new Camden Liquor Accord initiative into venues. Picture: Anna Warr

Putting his foot down: Martin Sinclair (left, with Dom Altobelli) is proud to usher the new Camden Liquor Accord initiative into venues. Picture: Anna Warr

Belligerent patrons be warned – your days are numbered.

The Camden Liquor Accord has put in place a new initiative which will allow any licensed venue to refuse entry to a person who has been banned from any other venue.

The Royal Hotel’s Martin Sinclair – head of the Accord – said the idea gave licencees greater opportunity to keep offensive behaviour out of their venues.

“The idea is in place in a few different areas,” he said.

“In Wagga Wagga for example, they have a total ban, where if a patron is banned from one venue they cannot enter any other.

“We’ve given venues further rights of refusal for people who have previously been violent in other venues.

“People who have previously engaged in an illegal act can be refused entry to a venue based not just on the venue’s own experience, but any other venue’s experience as well.”

Mr Sinclair said Camden’s venues all have a very good relationship, which has made bringing the initiative to fruition an easy task.

A private Facebook group has been set up which will allow licensees to post images and details of patrons who have been banned.

“Idiots are out there continually pushing boundaries and we want to shut them down,” he said.

“We hope this initiative will push to educate people who want to muck up that they could be banned from all venues in Camden.”

The ‘banned from one banned from all’ approach has been praised by Camden police, who have lent their support to the initiative.

Crime manager Jayne Doherty said the initiative was designed to discourage people from travelling from venue to venue in a violent or aggressive state.

“A patron could be banned from one venue because of poor behaviour for example and travel 50 metres down the road to another venue and do the same thing,” the detective inspector said.

“With this initiative they can be refused entry and can’t go around causing problems.”

Detective Inspector Doherty said most people just want to have a nice time in licensed venues and don’t want to be disturbed by a few troublemakers.

“This is an opportunity to reduce alcohol related violence and make venues much nicer,” she said.

“People don’t want to be caught up in violent behaviour.”

Detective Inspector Doherty’s colleague, licensing officer Senior Constable Mario Pasalic agreed and said the initiative would definitely help reduce anti-social behaviour.

“The ‘barred from one, barred from all’ policy will have a positive impact on anti-social behaviour occurring in and around the licensed premises,” he said.

“The majority of patrons are law abiding citizens that attend the licensed venues to have a good time and they do it responsibly.

“The incidents of anti-social behaviour are being committed by a relatively small percentage of patrons and if we can remove these persons from all licensed premises the end result will most likely reduce the amount of unwanted behaviour.”

Senior Constable Pasalic said the initiative was not designed to deter well behaved patrons, only those that put a dampener on the situation for others.

“This policy is only targeting anti-social patrons,” he said. “This will in turn provide safer venues for all the law-abiding patrons.

“Police and the members of the Camden Liquor Accord will work together to send a strong message that any anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”

The senior constable said anyone breaching the new laws would face an on-the-spot fine of $350 for entering enclosed lands without lawful excuse.

If the banned patron then refused to leave the licensed venue, they would face a $550 ‘fail to quit’ ticket.

The Camden Liquor Accord initiative is now in effect. Patrons involved in a brawl at a Camden South hotel last week are among the first to feel its effects.

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