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Pub gets ID scanner in fight against violence

The Royal duty manager Linc Phelps with the new ID scanner which soon will be mandatory in all venues open after midnight.
The Royal duty manager Linc Phelps with the new ID scanner which soon will be mandatory in all venues open after midnight. Renee Pilcher

A POPULAR Gympie watering hole is embracing the latest in technology to stop violence in its tracks.

The clear message is violent and anti-social behaviour is not on and those who do the wrong thing will be accountable.

The Royal manager Stacey Lowe said from a state-wide perspective Gympie was not a high-risk area, but was not about fall complacent in stamping out violence.

In 2015, government regulations will require ID scanners to be installed in venues open after midnight.

Ms Lowe decided not to wait until it was law, enthusiastically adopting the new technology in her establishment now.

A similar set-up is used by Gympie's Tremors Nightclub, recording a person's photo identification along with a photo.

But where The Royal's newly installed ID scanner differs is its connection to an Australia-wide database.

A network of some 100 scanners is interlinked, giving venue operators instant feedback on patrons walking through the door.

Should someone be banned from a club in Brisbane, upon fronting up at The Royal, that information is immediately available to management.

Why the person was banned and for how long then allows management to assess the risk of allowing the individual entry.

The Royal has a single scanner that is quick and effortless.

Patrons provide ID (typically a driver's licence) and have their photo taken by the scanner.

The scanner features facial recognition and instantly checks the photo ID matches the actual person presenting at the venue.

Ms Lowe said there were other benefits from installing the scanner.

"There's a need for it now, definitely," she said.

"If something happens in the venue and we spot someone in a red shirt that has hit or thrown a glass, we can log in and search to bring up all the people who wore a red shirt.

"It's a fine-tuned process and a deterrent."

The scanner, while quick and effective, is also subject to the Privacy Act.

All information is secure, not accessible by security staff working the door and only accessible by management.

The community's message is clear and continues to be hammered by Gympie Magistrate Maxine Baldwin weekly in dealing with offenders before the court.

Topics:  alcohol fuelled violence anti-social behaviour gympie violence

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