PARTY'S OVER: The revellers ID scanners are keeping out

HUNDREDS of revellers banned from Gladstone venues have been sent home after being caught by ID scanners over eight months, a report has found.

Gladstone's Safe Night Precinct was one of 15 to be analysed for two years as part of an evaluation of measures aimed at tackling alcohol-fuelled violence.

Queensland Government measures included the introduction of mandatory ID scanners and banning alcoholic drinks from being sold after 3am.

Titled Queensland alcohol-related violence and night time economy monitoring, the report found at least one serious crime a week in Queensland was solved using ID scanner data.

It found mandatory ID scanners in Gladstone's Safe Night Precinct caught 288 banned patrons who attempted to gain entry to venues between October 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

MIePLACE Niteclub owner Aodhan McCann said the scanners, combined with new CCTV cameras in the CBD, helped improve policing on Friday and Saturday nights.

"I was using the scanners before they were implemented, and I would continue to use them even if it wasn't mandatory," Mr McCann said.

 

SENT HOME: Safe Night Precinct Gladstone chairman Aodhan McCann pictured with footage from CCTV cameras which were installed in the CBD late last year.
SENT HOME: Safe Night Precinct Gladstone chairman Aodhan McCann pictured with footage from CCTV cameras which were installed in the CBD late last year. Matt Taylor GLA211218CTTV

"We can go back and identify the people who we've had issues with and we're able to keep them out of the venue."

Central Lane Hotel owner Rick Adams said while the ID scanners were necessary, more work needed to be done to make the system fairer for regional businesses.

The report recommended mandatory ID scanning on only Friday to Sunday nights for venues closing before 1am.

Mr Adams' business is open until 5am every night, with most weeknight patrons using gaming facilities.

"It's good to see there's finally a report on this, but there needs to be further work done and some more consultation with industry," he said.

"We need to make (ID scanners) commercially viable on quieter days."

Mr Adams said regional Queensland businesses should be considered as separate to Brisbane and tourism centres including the Gold Coast, Townsville and Cairns.

"In regional Queensland we have hotels that also have nightclubs as separate rooms; we're not a nightclub with high energy, high volume seven days a week," he said.

"There needs to be some flexibility to look at regional centres separately to capitals and tourism destinations."

Among the 38 recommendations made in the report was for all Safe Night Precincts to close by 3.30am.

The government said it was unlikely to support this recommendation.

Mr McCann said forcing patrons out of venues earlier would not make nightlife precincts safer.

"(Earlier closures) force everyone out at the same time, which is the biggest problem, because sometimes people aren't ready to go home or they may not physically be able to get home because taxis can't deal with everyone leaving at the same time," he said.

The report also recommended an increase to the 10-day duration of police banning orders to provide a real deterrent to troublemaking.

Its analysis of public nuisance and common and serious assault offences in Gladstone found offences peaked in 2012-14, during the construction boom.

Across Queensland it found a 29 per cent reduction in serious assaults between 3am and 6am, but a 19 per cent increase in serious assaults between 8pm and midnight.

But it said education and awareness campaigns aimed at reducing drunkenness and violence had not been effective.

Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath said the evaluation showed "promising reductions in some key measures of alcohol-related harm across Queensland".



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