Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 283–287 | Cite as

Community Awareness of Patron Banning in Australia: a Brief Report

  • Ashlee Curtis
  • Nicholas Taylor
  • Belinda Guadagno
  • Clare Farmer
  • Peter Miller


Patron banning involves banning individuals who engage in problematic behaviour in night time entertainment precincts from certain areas. Patron banning is used in most jurisdictions within Australia despite a lack of evidence regarding its effectiveness. To have an impact, patron banning should act as a deterrent for problematic behaviour at a range of licenced premises (individual and general deterrence), as well as constituting as an immediate punishment which prevents future problem behaviours at the establishment(s) from which an individual has been banned (incapacitation). However, for deterrence to occur, the general public must be aware of the existence and basic functions of patron banning. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine the level of public awareness of patron banning and its use. One hundred seventy-two participants anonymously completed an online questionnaire, comprising two sections: (1) demographic information and (2) participant’s awareness, understanding, and previous experience with patron banning. The majority of participants indicated being aware of patron banning, but most did not know any details about it. The results of this study indicate that while individuals are aware that banning powers exist, they are less aware of how these powers are used in practice. In this way, patron banning fails to fulfil the requirements of a general deterrent. Given its expanding use, further research is needed to determine if patron banning does affect the behaviour of those receiving bans and of the community more generally.


Alcohol-related harm Nightlife Intervention Patron banning Licenced venue 



This study was funded by an internal research grant from the Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development within the School of Psychology, Deakin University.

Compliance and Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Peter Miller receives funding from Australian Research Council and Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, grants from NSW Government, National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, Cancer Council Victoria, Queensland government and Australian Drug Foundation, travel and related costs from Australasian Drug Strategy Conference. He is affiliated with academic journal Addiction. He has acted as a paid expert witness on behalf of a licenced venue and a security firm.

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval was obtained from the Deakin University Health Ethics Advisory Group prior to commencement of the study. All procedures performed in study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Deakin University Health Ethics Advisory Group and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology, Faculty of HealthDeakin University Waterfront CampusGeelongAustralia
  2. 2.School of Humanities and Social SciencesDeakin University Waurn Ponds Campus GeelongWaurn PondsAustralia

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