Déjà Q in the Australian nightlife: ID scanners and violent crime in night-time entertainment districts

On July 1, 2017, the mandatory use of identification (ID) scanners as a prerequisite to licenced venue entry came into effect in all 15 major night-time entertainment districts (NEDs) across Queensland (Australia). This relatively contemporary situational crime prevention technique functions to (1)...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Piron, Kurt M (Author)
Contributors: Devilly, Grant J
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2022
In: Journal of criminology
Year: 2022, Volume: 55, Issue: 3, Pages: 359-376
Online Access: Presumably Free Access
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Summary:On July 1, 2017, the mandatory use of identification (ID) scanners as a prerequisite to licenced venue entry came into effect in all 15 major night-time entertainment districts (NEDs) across Queensland (Australia). This relatively contemporary situational crime prevention technique functions to (1) supplement traditional door-staff enforced control access and (2) increase personal accountability by reducing perceived anonymity inside licenced venues. The current study examined the association between the ID scanner legislation and violent crime rates in the Fortitude Valley NED (Brisbane, Queensland), a leading hotspot for street violence. Police crime data was examined one year before ID scanner enforcement, and one year after, with each year matched quarterly to test Pearson?s chi-square contingencies by time of year. Violent summary offences (less serious violent offences) increased substantially in the first three months following the ID scanner legislative change, while general summary offences (i.e., public nuisance) and indictable offences (e.g., assaults) remained statistically unchanged. The introduction of ID scanners was the only legislative change that occurred in the Fortitude Valley NED during data collection, suggesting a highly probable link to the observed spike in violent offences. Potential determinants of this upsurge in violence are discussed, including inefficient queue management and increased provocations for violence in queues to nightclubs resulting from the prolonged ID scanning process.
ISSN:2633-8084
DOI:10.1177/26338076221094874