Banning problem patrons
There are 3 levels of bans that can be imposed on patrons:
- court-imposed bans
- police-imposed bans
- venue-imposed bans.
Information about a person's ban (either a police banning notice, a court banning order or a special bail condition) will be linked into networked ID scanners in licensed venues to enhance enforcement.
Legislation provides courts with powers to ban people from specified licensed premises or specified areas around licensed premises.
Banning orders are a sentencing option for offences relating to violence in, or in the vicinity of, licensed premises and under the Bail Act 1980 as a condition of bail. The court or a police officer is required to consider attaching such a condition to bail in certain circumstances.
The court-issued banning orders can be for up to 12 months, or longer if attached to a sentence for a criminal offence, and can apply inside and outside of venues.
These powers strengthen the ability of the courts and police officers to enforce expected standards of community behaviour, recognising that everyone deserves to be able to enjoy themselves responsibly and feel safe in community spaces.
What court-ordered patron bans mean for licensees
- Through court-ordered bans, patrons who endanger public safety through violence can be held to account. There are significant penalties for persons found to contravene a banning order, and any breach of a ban made through bail conditions may also have serious consequences for the individual, including having their bail revoked. Penalties include a fine or up to 1 year imprisonment.
- The legislation allows for copies of banning orders to be provided to venues to which the ban relates, including to approved operators for uploading to the approved ID scanning system. The Queensland Police Service and the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation will work closely with industry to facilitate suitable arrangements for the distribution of this information.
The Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 provides police with powers to ban people from:
- entering or remaining in a stated licensed premises or a stated class of licensed premises
- entering or remaining in a public place located within a safe night precinct (SNP)
- an event being held in a public place where liquor will be sold for consumption at the event
- being near those places - a distance to/from, or an area the ban extends to (e.g. 500m from a specified SNP).
The duration of the ban may be either a period of 10 days or if the notice applies to a particular event, up until that event finishes.
Police may amend banning notices by issuing further notices to:
- extend the duration of the initial ban for a total period of up to 3 months (this can include specific days or times)
- include additional relevant public places.
As well as court-ordered and police-ordered patron bans, licensees can use venue-imposed bans to deal with patrons demonstrating violent and inappropriate behaviour. Legislation allows for these types of bans to be included in the approved ID scanning system data. It is important that licensees continue to use methods including:
- removal or refusal of entry - for people exhibiting disorderly or other inappropriate behaviour (this cannot be discriminatory in nature)
- venue-specific bans - where a licensee bans a patron indefinitely or for a specified period of time due to inappropriate behaviour, including acts of violence
- group venue bans - where a number of licensees (usually members of a liquor accord or safe night precinct) ban patrons from all participating venues indefinitely or for a specified period of time, due to inappropriate behaviour, including acts of violence. It is important that each individual licensee considers whether to ban the patron and makes their own decision as to whether a patron will be banned from their premises.
For more information about banning patrons, read Towards best practice for safety in licensed venues.