ID SCANNERS will be installed in every pub, club and strip joint in Kings Cross to rid the area of violent troublemakers.
Thugs will also be banned from the area under tough measures to clean up the strip. The ID scanners will be linked to ensure that, when a person is thrown out of one premise, they will be unable to enter any other venues.
All patrons entering the venues will be “confirmed and recorded” on the scanners, which will be installed by the middle of next year. The scanners will be introduced through “legislation and co-operation” and will also provide a venue operator with “up-to-the minute venue patronage”, the government said.
Police will have access to the scanners, which will help them identify offenders or victims when a crime has occurred. The ID scanning system was introduced in the Newcastle entertainment precinct in July and police said it had already been a success, with a “notable reduction in violent incidents”.
“Scanners have the benefit of allowing authorities to ban serial troublemakers for the night or even longer,” Mr O’Farrell said. “It also means, when a drunk or violent person is kicked out of a venue, they can’t just go next door and wreak havoc there. “My message to troublemakers is: ‘When you’re out, you’re out’.”
The government will today announce the changes as part of its Kings Cross plan of management in response to the Thomas Kelly killing. Mr O’Farrell is also expected to announce extra late night and early morning buses, secure taxi ranks and extra taxi services.
But the government will baulk at running all-night trains from the trouble spot. Plans foreshadowed last month, before consultation with the hotel industry, to ban shots after midnight on weekends, set a limit of four drinks per customer and ban the sale of alcohol an hour before venues close will remain.
A foreshadowed ban on glasses, glass bottles and glass jugs after midnight every night of the week and having marshals patrol clubs and pubs after 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights will also be introduced. But the Premier will today go even further, announcing tough new laws to create the ability to ban an individual from all licensed premises within the Kings Cross Precinct Liquor Accord.
Previously the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority only had the power to ban someone from a specific premises at the request of that licensee. However, the government said the new banning orders were necessary because there are a “few individuals who have a history of repeatedly exhibiting serious anti-social behaviour and/or violence at different venues within the Kings Cross precinct”. “It’s a severe punishment for troublemakers and … a pretty good incentive to behave,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“These are tough measures and I make no apology for them. “People who go out for a nice meal, a dance or a few drinks shouldn’t be subject to brawls, drunks and people high on drugs.
“Young thugs need to pull their heads in.” The government said it would deliver “protocols ….. to appropriately protect and handle confidential information that venues collect using ID scanners”.