By James Atkinson

The NSW Police Force has teamed up with ClubsNSW and the Australian Hotels Association (NSW) to launch a campaign highlighting tough new penalties for patrons if they refuse to leave a licensed venue when requested.

The 'STOP! Is it worth $550?' campaign warns patrons that they will be fined $550 by police if they refuse to leave a licensed venue when asked by the club or hotel when violent, drunk or disorderly.

The campaign will see posters, beer coasters and flyers placed in prominent places throughout clubs and hotels warning patrons that they face a hefty fine if they don't leave when told. It will also run on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter sites. [continues below]

A video highlighting the $550 fine will also run on plasma screens in the 4,000 clubs and pubs statewide whilst a radio commercial will also be aired.

The joint move by police, clubs and pubs comes after police issued a record number of fines to people who refused to leave a licensed premise when instructed to during last month's Operation Unite.

Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas said the recent 'Operation Unite' proves that some patrons don't realise that when they've had too much to drink and licensees ask them to leave – by law, they have to leave.

"We want everyone to enjoy summer and by all means, enjoy a drink, but stop before you've had too much, stop before you are asked to leave, stop before you refuse to leave and definitely stop before you become anti-social or violent." [continues below]

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball, Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas and NSW AHA CEO Paul Nicolaou in Sydney this morning 

NSW AHA CEO Paul Nicolaou said even though assault rates on licensed premises are at the lowest levels in a decade some patrons still aren't getting the message.

"People need to be responsible for their own actions. There will be more than two million people out in licensed premises this weekend and there will be problems with a couple of hundred of them – we are tired of being persecuted for the actions of a few – clubs and hotels across NSW work closely with local police to ensure that patrons have a good night out," he said.

For those few who play up and don't accept the umpire's decision, there's a $550 fine waiting for them." 

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said that registered clubs had driven assaults to record lows by keeping the pressure on the small number of people who do the wrong thing.

"Clubs are safe, family-friendly venues and we're not going to tolerate drunk or disorderly behavior. So if we say you've had enough and offer you a cab, take us up on the offer and get home safely," he said.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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