Ban threat for violent party-goers
PUBS and police have promised a zero-tolerance stance against drunken trouble makers this party season, warning they will not hesitate to impose bans.
More than 20 people are off-limits to licensed venues in Cairns because of aggressive behaviour and authorities say more are likely to follow suit over the festive period.
Police have successfully applied to the courts to ban at least eight people from the CBD while the city's liquor accord a collective of licensees has suspended more than 15 louts from their premises.
"They're usually banned because of violence or damage to property in or outside of the venues," City Police Beat Senior Sergeant Gary Hunter said.
"Obviously alcohol or drugs are usually the cause of such behaviour but it's no excuse and we certainly don't want those people ruining a night out for others."
While the Cairns Liquor Accord cannot legally enforce bans on patrons, venues share information on troublemakers so each can refuse them entry for up to six months.
The group's spokesman Dominic Davies said the measure was successful in deterring bad behaviour, with no repeat offenders recorded.
"It's been going for the past 18 months and not once have we seen anyone banned back on the list once they're allowed back in," he said.
"It'd hurt them; their mates are out having a good time and they're not."
Mr Davies, who owns the Woolshed, said the accord had between 15 and 20 people on the ban list at any given time.
Most were local men aged under 25.
Almost all of the CBD's pubs and clubs were in communication on a nightly basis to alert each other of problem patrons, Mr Davies said.
"They're all on the same radio every night," he said. "Everyone's working really hard. The venues have definitely got their hearts in the right spot."
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said a Liquor Act review could result in tougher penalties for serial troublemakers at licensed premises.
"The Government is currently in discussions with the Queensland Police Service and considering other options regarding the issue of banning notices to patrons, outside of the court system," he said.
Police will ramp up operations to curb the expected rise in alcohol-fuelled offences in Cairns in the lead-up to the festive period.
This year, officers have tipped out 1275 litres of booze: 924 litres of wine, 224 litres of beer and 127 litres of spirits.
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