Camden Liquor Accord has introduced a new anti-violence policy that involves ‘red cards’ being handed out to intoxicated patrons.
The concept, borrowed from soccer, will see bar staff and security guards act as referees with the power to issue ‘red cards’ and sideline patrons from all of Camden’s licensed venues for six hours.
Camden Liquor Accord president Steve Wisbey told The Daily Telegraph: “We don’t want any galahs out there making people feel uncomfortable.
“The concept really is a proactive approach. It’s the same system as the old ejection but before it gets to that point — before anyone swings a punch or throws a glass.
“To borrow a sporting phrase, we want people to play hard, have a great night on the paddock and not be sent off because you are a goose.”
Last year, Camden and Narellan Hotels were on the list of the 12 most violent venues in NSW. But they were both removed in May.
Camden Hotel was also ordered to shut for two days in January for serving up to 20 beers to three boys aged under 18 who got involved in a brawl after leaving the venue.
Wisbey told The Camden Advertiser the venues had worked hard to ensure they didn’t appear on the list again.
“They adhered to the police’s stringent requests and did everything they could to improve customer safety,” he said.
“Nobody wants to be on these lists and venues work hard to ensure that they aren’t.”
While police were called last weekend to prevent a drunken brawl sprawling onto Camden’s Argyle St in the early hours of Sunday morning, Wisbey said the area was generally a very safe one.
“We haven’t had issues with the one-punch and other violence that other population-concentrated venues have had,” he said.
“We are more looking at what we don’t want to happen — we don’t want the old days of people fighting in carparks or the streets.
“Camden is a great place to come out. We have these fantastic venues that should be packed because of what we offer.