Security providers working in Gold Coast bars, hotels and nightclubs were under scrutiny this past weekend when the Office of Liquor and Gaming (OLGR), the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Queensland Police Service joined forces to conduct a compliance operation in the region.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said the compliance operation followed recent incidents involving security personnel on the Gold Coast.
“Security staff play an important role in providing a safe night out for everyone,” the Attorney said.
“It is often a difficult role, and that is why only suitable, trained and licensed staff should be involved.
“There have been recent reports of patrons being mistreated by security personnel on the Gold Coast and we want to ensure patrons can enjoy a night out with friends safely.
“That’s why the OLGR, OFT and police conducted the compliance crackdown over the weekend with inspectors and police targeting venues from Coomera to Coolangatta on Friday and Saturday night to check that crowd controllers and security officers were properly licensed.”
The operation aimed to check the credentials of security providers working in licensed venues as well as a range of other security related requirements.
The Attorney-General said 34 Gold Coast venues were visited over the two nights and 59 security providers had their licences checked. Five people were found working as security providers with no licence.
“Security providers need to be properly trained. They must pass criminal history checks and meet strict probity requirements to be eligible for security licences,” she said.
Hotels, clubs and other licenced venues are reminded that strict penalties apply for unlicensed security activity, both to the individual and to the business which hires them. These penalties escalate for repeat offences.
For example, for a first offence the maximum penalty is more than $68,000, for a second offence it’s more than $96,000 or six-months imprisonment, and for a third offence it’s more than $137,000 or 18-months imprisonment.
Chief Executive Officer of Australian Security Industry Association Ltd (ASIAL) Bryan de Caires fully supported the enforcement actions undertaken.
“Security personnel play an important role in ensuring patrons at bars, clubs and hotels enjoy a safe night out. Which is why it is imperative that unscrupulous operators are prevented from getting a foothold in the industry,” Mr de Caires said.
“Venues need to understand that by engaging unlicensed and poorly trained security providers they are exposing their patrons and themselves to a level of risk that can have devastating consequences.”
Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming and Commissioner for Fair Trading Victoria Thomson acknowledged that the security industry like many others were facing difficulties with recruitment and staff shortages but it is important that security personnel were correctly licensed and accredited to ensure patron safety.
“Individual security personnel need to have a current licence on them while they are working and this needs to have the correct endorsements for their allocated roles, such as crowd controller or security officer,” Ms Thomson said.
“It is also important patrons treat security staff with respect at all times, particularly when they are trying to de-escalate a situation.”
Licensees are reminded about the free search facility available on the OFT’s website which will assist them in ensuring whether a person holds a current licence and the endorsements on the licence.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman