Banning orders – What do they really mean for your pub?

This article originally appeared in QHA Review magazine, August 2018 edition

One year on from the introduction of ID scanning in Queensland, we thought it timely to provide a refresher on banning orders and what they really mean for your pub.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has reported that approximately 13 million IDs were scanned during the 2017-2018 financial year. Of these 13 million IDs, there were 488 instances of persons being detected by ID scanners trying to enter licensed venues that they are banned from.

While it may not be every day that you come across a banned patron trying to enter your pub, it is important that you, your security and your staff understand the differences between the types of bans and how to deal with patrons who are banned under any of these orders.

Types of banning orders

There are three levels of bans that can be imposed on patrons at your pub. These are:

  1. Venue-imposed bans or licensee bans;
  2. Court-imposed bans; and
  3. Police-imposed bans.

We have outlined a quick summary of each type of ban below.

Venue or licensee bans

As a licensee, you are able to ban a patron from entering your pub for violent or inappropriate behaviour. There are two types of venue-imposed bans (or licensee bans), being venue-specific bans or group venue bans.

These bans are in addition to your general rights as a licensee to remove patrons or refuse entry for disorderly or other inappropriate behaviour.

A venue-specific ban applies only to your pub, and will not ban the person from any other venues. To create a venue-specific ban, you should contact your approved ID scanning operator who will be able to provide information about this process.

A number of licensees together can also ban patrons from their venues due to inappropriate behaviour or violence. This is called a “group venue ban” and usually applies to venues in liquor accords or safe night precincts. In creating a group venue ban, it is important that all licensees independently make their own decision as to whether to participate in the group venue ban.

The duration of venue-specific bans and group venue bans may be for a specific period or indefinitely. As a licensee, or group of licensees, creating a ban it is important to consider the duration of the ban in relation to the violence or inappropriate behaviour which led to the ban.

Court and police bans

The other two types of banning orders that you may come across at your pub are court-imposed bans and police-imposed bans.

Court-imposed bans are banning orders imposed by the courts as a condition of bail or issued by the courts banning persons from specific licensed venues. Court-imposed bans may also apply to areas around or outside licensed venues.

Police-imposed bans are police banning notices issued for various reasons. These include, among others, banning patrons from entering or remaining in a specific licensed premises or class of premises, and entering or remaining in a public place located within a safe night precinct or being near those places (i.e. within 500m of the specific premises).

Court-imposed bans may be imposed for up to 12 months. However, they may be longer if the ban attaches to a sentence for a criminal offence. Police imposed bans will either be for 10 days of longer where the ban applies to a specific event. If the police-imposed ban applies to a specific event, it will be imposed until such event finishes.

What do the different types of bans mean for you and your venue?

It is important that you are aware of your obligations and rights to refuse entry to a patron if they return a positive ban check. We summarise these obligations and rights as follows:

  1. If a patron returns a positive ban check for a court or police order which includes your pub, you must refuse entry to the patron;
  2. If a patron is identified as subject to a court or police ban, but the ban does not include your premises, you may choose whether or not you allow the patron into your pub;
  3. If a patron returns a positive ban check for a venue-specific or group venue ban, you may choose whether or not you allow the patron into your pub. However, if you choose to allow these patrons into your pub, you may reconsider whether the ban is appropriate.

If a patron subject to a court or police-imposed banning order attempts to enter your premises, your approved ID scanning system will automatically send an email to Queensland Police Service (QPS) advising them of this.

There is no requirement for you to detain a banned person or confiscate their ID if they return a positive ban check, and in fact, QPS have advised that security must not do this. Instead, you should notify QPS of the incident including details of the banned patron.

Information about a person’s ban will be linked into your networked ID scanners to enhance your ability to enforce these bans.

As a licensee, it is important that you and your team are aware of these types of bans and what to do if a patron returns a positive ban check. We recommend that training is conducted to ensure you and your staff are confident and ready if these circumstances arise.

“The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.”
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