Bar bouncers’ high-tech kit
Drunk and abusive patrons causing trouble in Wanaka could soon find themselves excluded from all bars after the launch of an instant information sharing scheme. An initiative is being trialled by ACC in conjunction with the hospitality industry, police and the Queenstown Lakes District Council. The system will see staff at bars using a Voxer app on Nokia Vodafone smart minis, funded by ACC, to alert each other about intoxicated or abusive patrons in a bid to reduce antisocial behaviour. Bar owners at Opium, Bullock Bar, Mint, Barluga, Woody’s, Gin and Raspberry and Waterbar have signed up to use the new system. Lalaland and Fitzpatrick indicated they will be joining shortly. Council regulatory manager Lee Webster said that if one bar took action to exclude a troublesome patron, other premises would hear about it straight away, as would the police and liquor inspectors. Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said police supported the joint initiative. ‘‘If we can identify people who have been excluded from licensed premises for violent or antisocial behaviour and share that information early, it will reduce the chance for further disorder.’’ Gin and Raspberry manager Emma Jennings said it was great for those in the industry to get some formal support and that the initiative was put in place before Christmas and New Years which were peak times. She used to informally text other managers when they had a difficult patron and the new system will mean that information can get out to a bigger network, she said.
Code red: Raspberry and Gin manager EmmaJennings holds a Nokia Vodafone smart mini, funded by ACC, which bars owners in Wanaka have been given to alert each other about drunk or abusive patrons.