Problem patrons could be banned from all venues in Broken Hill following a recent decision by the Barrier Liquor Accord.
The Barrier Liquor Accord, comprising every licensed venue in Broken Hill and Silverton, has agreed to implement a multi-venue barring policy for high-risk patrons.
“The main question people are asking is, if we’re barred from one club, are we barred from everywhere,” Barrier Liquor Accord Chairman Karren Howe said.
“That’s not the case, each licensed venue has their own barring rules which will remain in effect, it’s only those, hopefully one or two, problem, high-risk individuals that are escalated and they will be the ones that will face the multi-venue barring,” she said.
“That ban will apply to every venue in Broken Hill with a liquor licence: sporting venues like the golf club, bottle shops, hotels, even some restaurants.”
The new policy can see problem patrons barred from all Broken Hill venues for 24 hours or longer, with extreme cases risking a lifetime ban.
Liquor Accord member Dean Trengove said they first looked at this sort of ban back in 2016, and they are now implementing it.
“Luckily there’s only a few individuals under consideration at this stage,” Mr Trengove said.
“To be deemed high-risk you’ve got to have been a problem more than once, or engage in quite severe behaviour at multiple venues over the one night or weekend,” he said.
“If you don’t know how to behave in public, you’re not welcome in our venues.”
Detective Inspector Michael Fuller said the Barrier Police District is very supportive of the policy, which will be a valuable tool for behaviour change.
He said the $550 on the spot fine for failing to leave a premises has been an effective deterrent, but some people continue to ignore that.
“If you could be potentially barred from every venue in Broken Hill and it’s hundreds of kilometres before you reach another venue you can go to, that’s a valuable tool,” DI Fuller said.
“We work very closely with licensed premises and event operators, we’ll always be out at events making sure the Liquor Act is applied, so if you’re going out make sure you make good choices and consider the impact your actions could have on yourself and those around you.”
The new policy aligns with most venues’ policies already in effect, in that a person may be removed or refused entry if they are threatening, aggressive or anti-social, refuse to leave when asked, are overly drunk, commit crimes or vandalise or other cause damage.
Ms Howe said venues understand that sometimes people get a little silly, and the policy doesn’t target that.
“It’s the people who create a lot of havoc and become a risk to our licences, our staff and members, and the licensees,” she said.
“We want to create a safe and welcoming environment within and without our venues, but there are some individuals that don’t care for that.
“The message is simple, behave or be barred.”