NSW Police back Kings Cross ID Scanners

Scannet Australia Scannet News

SCANNING identification cards at Kings Cross hotels and nightclubs will help identify anyone who has committed a violent assault and keep them out, NSW police say.

Under the proposed government legislation, ID scanners will operate every day at 35 high-risk Kings Cross clubs.

Patrons who have been issued a temporary ban will be flagged in the system and face penalties if they try to get into another high-risk club.

Kings Cross Commander Superintendent Michael Fitzgerald told reporters on Wednesday the system will make the job of police easier.

“We will now be able to identify people who king hit or commit serious assault or serious crimes in these high-risk premises,” he said.

The scanners will operate from 7pm until close of business for the first half of the week and continuously from Thursday night until Monday morning and on public holidays.

It’s understood clubs will bear the cost of the scanners.

NSW Hospitality Minister George Souris says clubs listed as violent venues will be required to operate scanners 24 hours a day.

He says most patrons will accept the scanners as a necessary measure.

“I think people will realise this measure is there for their safety,” he said.

“It will improve this precinct and it will provide for an enjoyable night’s entertainment.”

The government hopes the scanners will be in place for the summer period.

NSW Australian Hotel Association CEO Paul Nicolaou said the industry supported ID scanners but operating them seven days a week defied commonsense.

“If you want to go to a toilet on Monday night or want to buy a hamburger … you have to be scanned,” he told AAP.

“We feel that statistics prove that Friday and Saturdays are sufficient (for scanners).”

He’s concerned patrons kicked out from high-risk clubs could move on to pubs without scanners and said they should be “kicked – out of the entire precinct”.

He said industry was happy to foot the bill for the scanners but couldn’t guarantee patrons wouldn’t be charged more by businesses to cover the costs.