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What You Need to Know About Safe Night Precincts and Police Banning Notices

What You Need to Know About Safe Night Precincts and Police Banning Notices

Safe Night Precincts (SNPs) were introduced as a Queensland Government initiative to address violence and anti-social behaviour associated with drinking culture. The reforms restricted trading hours of licensed venues, brought in networked ID scanning for late-trading venues, and supported police to issue banning notices for people who engaged in disorderly, offensive, or violent conduct.

More On Safe Night Precincts

The creation of SNPs in places with popular nightspots including Airlie Beach, Brisbane & Gold Coast attempts to mitigate late-night violence fueled by drugs and alcohol and ensures a safer environment in and around licensed venues.

SNPs are managed by local boards composed of stakeholders, including venue owners. Venues with SNPS can sell alcohol until 3am, and licensees must apply for extended trading hours approval to continue selling alcohol past 3am – however, venues can remain open provided they stop serving liquor.

A year after the introduction of SNPs, networked ID scanners became mandatory for all licensed premises within an SNP with registered trading times after midnight. The scanners recognize multiple different types of ID (such as Drivers Licenses, Passports, Proof of Age Cards etc.) and are networked through central servers, with the details of any person banned from a venue downloaded to all venues operating a scanner within around 10 minutes of the ban being imposed.

How Do Banning Notices Work?

A Police Banning Notice can only be issued to a person who is 17 years or older. The notice can be given if a person:

  • has behaved in a disorderly, offensive, or violent way at or in the vicinity of:
    • a licensed premises;
    • a safe night precinct;
    • an event at which alcohol is being sold; and
  • being at that place poses an unacceptable risk of:
    • causing violence at those places;
    • affecting the safety of other people at those places; or
    • disrupting or interfering with the peaceful passage, or reasonable enjoyment of other people at those places.

The banning notice prevents the person from entering or remaining at those locations listed above, or a reasonable distance from them. The notice can stop the person from entering or remaining at these places during stated days or stated times.

An ‘Initial’ Police Banning Notice will last up to 1 month from the time it is issued. When given, police must explain the reason you’re receiving the notice, how long it’ll last and the consequences of disobeying the notice.

Police can then issue an ‘Extended’ Banning Notice, if they’re reasonably satisfied that it’s necessary, which can extend the duration of the notice to three months as well as list additional places, days, and times where the ban is in effect.

A person who is the subject of a banning notice should be aware that the contents of the notice will be linked via approved ID scanners in licensed venues to ensure enforcement. Police will automatically be notified if a person attempts to enter a licensed premises while banned.

It’s an offence to disobey a Police Banning Notice without a reasonable excuse, and if convicted, carries a fine of up to 60 penalty units (up to $9,288).

A Court may also impose a Banning Order, restricting a person from entry to an SNP or from a particular licensed premises in an SNP or an area of an SNP, in the following circumstances:

  • If it is satisfied that a person has been convicted of an offence involving the use, threatened use or attempted use of violence to a person or property, or an offence of Supplying or Trafficking Dangerous Drugs; and
  • the Court is satisfied that the offence was committed in a licensed premises, or in a public place in the vicinity of licensed premises, and
  • the Court is satisfied that unless an Order is made, the offender would pose an unacceptable risk to the good order of the licensed premises and the areas in the vicinity of licensed premises, or the safety and welfare of those attending the area.

The penalty for breaching a Court ordered banning order is a fine of up to 40 penalty units ($6,192) or 1 year’s imprisonment.

If you have received a Banning Notice or been charged with an offence alleged in an SNP, contact us today for advice and assistance.