Ugur Nedim

NSW Police want lockout laws across state


Approx Reading Time-10Emboldened by the apparent success of the lockout laws, the NSW police are now looking to push a uniform system across the state. Good lord.




The NSW lockout laws were hailed a success at the end of last year, with data suggesting the clamp-down on bars and nightclubs has reduced violence in the city centre and Kings Cross precinct by as much as 40%.

However, protests by affected businesses and an independent review led the state government to ease the laws just before Christmas 2016, the changes coming into effect at the start of this year.

But new research suggests that suburbs adjacent to the city – which are not governed by the laws – have experienced double-digit increases in assaults.


Late night revellers go elsewhere

Figures just released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) suggest a 12% increase in assaults in areas bordering the lockout zone, including The Star Casino in Pyrmont, which has always been exempt from the restrictions.

Neighbouring suburbs such as Newtown, Bondi and Double Bay have experienced significant increases in late-night foot traffic, and corresponding rises in assaults of up to 17%.

The figures suggest that lockout laws have achieved little more than cause the closure of hundreds of CBD businesses and a displacement of violence, with many going out in other suburbs or drinking at home.


Less people in Kings Cross

BOCSAR director Don Weatherburn says that despite “major reductions in assault in the target areas, there’s been at least some spill-over into other parts of Sydney”. He adds that foot traffic in the CBD and Kings Cross has fallen by up to 80% on Friday and Saturday nights.

Kings Cross has been turned into a virtual ghost town, and nightlife in the CBD is a shadow of its former self.


Police want lockout laws across the state

NSW police have certainly taken a pro-active approach to enforcing lockout laws, going so far as to scrutinise menus and wine lists in restaurants to ensure they are not promoting excessive drinking and are making it clear that alcohol can only be served with food.

And despite the data on the displacement of violence, police are calling for the laws to apply across the state, which many believe could lead to a further increase in domestic violence within homes as more people “stay in” to drink, while at the same time extending police and state control.

Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist and the Principal of Sydney Criminal Lawyers, a leading Sydney Law Firm that specialises in Criminal Law and Traffic cases.

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One Comment;

  1. Rainer the cabbie said:

    I actually changed my mind on the lock out laws considering one very valid argument. Forget Kings Cross which is now the domain of our beloved real estate developers, this place is gone to the money class and will never be the same again.

    The question that remains is why are we seeing drunken violence on the increase in areas of night-life. At first I thought steroid and ice use coupled with a generation that grew up with violent games was to blame. Partly right, but the main factor is actually the time factor. Getting up for work early in the morning, then partying past 1 am does play a big part in this issue.

    One thing you will always have is some dickhead looking for a fight. That has always been the same. Still, what matters is the reaction these idiots receive. So let’s say, and this has been proven, the person being picked on is quiet pissed but also very tired which will lead him/her to react to a provocation very differently then normally. Then we will see fights breaking out and this was the intended outcome the dickhead had in mind.

    Yes I know, this sounds like victim blaming but the facts speak for themselves. So if lock out laws will prevent situations as above from happening, kudos to that. To me this is the only sensible explanation why violence has spread to neighbouring suburbs, after all the argument of too many intoxicated people in one place becomes invalid looking at the latest statistics.

    So perhaps lock out laws would work in all areas. Start your piss up at seven as opposed to nine and be home by one. What’s the difference, unless you’re full of speed? And good for the above real estate developers as well, if the young generation stops going out they can save a deposit for an overpriced doghouse. Win win indeed, except for advocado sales and beer barons.

    Having said that, my faith in the young is still alive and they shall keep on partying and stick their fingers up to the greedy lot trying to suck them into a life of being dull. But his violence thing needs to stop and if early closing proves to be the key to that then I have to agree with that measure.

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