By James Atkinson
Western Australian Police have issued 270 barring notices to antisocial pub patrons over the last 18 months, and a recent study shows the policy is working.
The latest figures for the Perth suburb of Northbridge are showing a drop in all key indicators of antisocial behaviour, after barring notices came into play in January 2011.
The news comes as a Perth woman was hit with a two-year ban from licensed premises following her involvement in a glassing incident in the suburb.
Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron last week said the introduction of prohibition orders three years ago had served as a tool to remove the worst offenders from licensed premises, with more than 130 prohibition orders issued to the worst offenders, including those involved in serious glassing assaults.
"Prohibition orders require show cause proceedings and therefore take time to put in place so in 2010, I introduced legislation to establish police barring notices as a less harsh and more efficient means of targeting the less serious incidents of antisocial behaviour," he said.
A comparison of crime statistics in Northbridge showed there had been a considerable reduction in the number of offences for common assault, threatening behaviour, disorderly conduct and other liquor licensing offences, following the introduction of barring notices.
"These are significant improvements. While it would be naive to solely credit barring notices for these outcomes, this evidence suggests they have had a very positive impact," Waldron said.
"Police have, to date, laid 37 charges for persons entering licensed premises in contravention of a barring notice. So this is a great result from a good policy and this Government will continue to explore effective policies that contribute to a healthier and safer community."
AHA (WA) CEO Bradley Woods agreed that the statistics show barring notices and prohibition orders are working effectively.
"The results in Northbridge show that a vibrant and safe entertainment and hospitality environment can be achieved without blanket restrictions which unfairly punish the majority of individuals who do the right thing when enjoying a night out," he said.