ID Scanners – The New Rules and How They’ll Make an Impact

May 12, 2017

Prepare to have your ID scanned after 10pm from July 1st this year. Any licensed venue that permanently trades past midnight within a safe night precinct is required to have a networked ID scanner installed.

In order to keep you informed with the latest rules, this month we look into the new guidelines – how they work, and how they’ll impact key stakeholders including security firms and employees, patrons and venue owners.

 

Why ID scanners and how will they work?

The Queensland Government are implementing  the scanners to help authorities control patrons and enforce bans on unruly patrons. Patrons wanting to enter a particular venue will have their ID scanned by a venue representative. This information will then be fed to a controlled data centre which will house all patron information.  Police and court bans will be provided by police to a secure officer of the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR), who will then update the central controlled data centre. If a person has been, or is banned from a venue, for instance  on the Gold Coast, it will show up in all venues in Queensland that operate ID scanners.  

Photo Credit: Gold Coast Bulletin, David Clark

As our blog post will explain, this new system has both positives and negatives for security, patrons and venue owners.

As a Security guard

 Legalising ID scanners in Queensland may prove to work in a security guard’s favour., but these new rules may also present some issues for those in the security services industry. See both the benefits and issues below:

+ Lessened Risk Security Guards  will be able to better manage those entering and exiting the venue and identify those patrons who may pose a threat to the safety of the venue and other patrons. This will make the venue and workplace more appealing and safer for patrons, staff and security.

+ New Training At CAP Security Service, we work in accordance with new and updated regulations. Our team will participate in training to familiarise themselves with the latest rules to make sure correct conduct of the scanners are being enforced.  Our team are committed to ongoing training, and are well versed in how to handle difficult patrons and implement venue bans.

+ More Employment Possibilities The demand for more security personnel will increase as venues will require additional security guards to assist with patron traffic flow, and issues that arise from the implementation.  Additionally, individuals may become more inclined to join the security work force because of the aforementioned lowered risk to guards and increased employment possibilities.

Increase in Disgruntled Patrons  Later in this blog, we discuss the issues that these new rules will carry for patrons. One of these is the fact that patrons may become impatient and disgruntled as they are waiting to enter a venue. Security guards may find that there will be an increase in the amount of unhappy patrons entering a venue which may result in unnecessary conflict. Security guards will have to address these issues and handle patrons appropriately, with the assistance of venue managers and owners.

 

As a Patron

From a patron’s point of view, the new rules may prove to be quite frustrating.  Given that any person, of any age must be scanned as they enter a venue, there are some potential problems that could arise. These issues are outlined below:

Time Consuming for Patrons Patrons may find that entry lines will be longer and slower as the new rules are implemented as all entrants will have to be scanned.  Not only will this cause frustration amongst the party, but it may lead to arguments with venue staff and other patrons.  Additionally, the rules are completely inflexible when it comes to letting someone in without an ID, for example, a group of people might be turned away if someone within their party does not have ID but is clearly over the age of 18.

Perceived Breach of privacy Security officers and venue owners may find that patrons are skeptical of the new machines – doubting their trustworthiness. A person’s personal information can be stored for up to 30 days and many may consider this to be a breach of privacy.

+ Increased Safety Whilst the new rules may carry some potential disadvantages, they do have the goal of creating safer and more enjoyable venues for patrons by eliminating potential trouble makers. Individuals may find that the new rules will lead to a decrease in incidents of conflict as there will be a decreased threat of violence committed by intoxicated individuals, and those with an established background of violence.

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As a Venue Owners

There will be both positive and negative impacts for venue owners and managers. These are outlined below:

+ Safer Venues It is expected that venues will operate more safely when the new scanner rules are implemented.  Scanners will help venues to communicate with each other regarding patrons’ behaviours and intoxication and it is hoped that other patrons will feel more at ease knowing that the scanners are acting to prevent the presence of intoxicated or troublesome individuals.

+ Prevent use of Fake IDs and Identity Theft With ID scanners in operation across nightlife venues, it is expected that the use of fake identity cards (fake IDS) will decrease.  When the ID is presented by the patron to the scanner, it will be able to identify if the patron is who they say they are and help with age confirmation. If the ID was reported lost or stolen, it will flag an alert on the database. The presence of scanners alone will be a deterrent to those wanting to use a fake ID.

Potential to Lose Revenue ID Scanners may act as a deterrent for people coming to a venue, resulting in a loss of revenue. Some venues might even have to cut back on employment due to this.

Expensive Cost of Scanners The licence to trade after midnight itself is expensive, but now each licenced venue will have to assign a trained staff member to attend to the scanner machine from 10pm- closing time. This training comes at approx $500 per person, and the running cost is approx $5200 a year.  The Government has committed to a rebate of $4000 in the first year to ease the cost.

Penalties for Licensees  If you are a licensee required to commence ID scanning by 1 July 2017, and have not acquired and installed an ID scanner and associated system by this date, you will need to prevent patron entry from 10pm on days where you are authorised to trade past midnight.

So there you have it, we hope that this has given you a greater insight into how the new ID scanners rules will affect patrons, security guards and venue owners.  Whilst there may be controversy surrounding these new rules, we must keep in mind that the Government are implementing these rules for a reason – in an attempt to ensure the safety of all venues and their customers. At CAP Security Services, we strive to keep our clients informed and up-to-date with new or revised regulations and laws.

For more information please visit the Queensland Government Business information page.

 

If you are looking for security service assistance at your venue,  contact us via email info@capsecurity.com.au or call our Brisbane team on 07 3892 7777 or our Townsville team on 07 4723 4000, Be sure to keep up to date with our latest events and business updates by visiting us on Facebook.