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Australia NSW Police to increase patrols as controversial Sydney lockout laws end today

13:31  14 january  2020
13:31  14 january  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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Sydney ’s controversial lockout laws could be scrapped for most of the CBD with the New South Wales premier hoping the move will enhance the city’s nightlife. Berejiklian hopes to introduce changes to the contentious legislation by the end of the year.

a green sign above a store: Signage in Kings Cross in Sydney, NSW where lockout laws remain in place. March 19, 2019. (Flickr: Kathy Drasky)© Provided by ABC Business Signage in Kings Cross in Sydney, NSW where lockout laws remain in place. March 19, 2019. (Flickr: Kathy Drasky)

NSW Police and the hospitality industry are gearing up for the end of Sydney's controversial lockout laws, which have today been officially lifted.

The Berejiklian Government last year announced several restrictions imposed on licensed venues would be scrapped across the city's CBD.

The exception was in Kings Cross, which the State Government said would be up for review in 12 months.

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In the final 24 hours before Sydney 's controversial CBD lockout laws are scrapped the city's This week pubs and bars across Sydney will host parties marking the end of the lockout laws . A NSW Police spokesman said police were "committed to ensuring the safety and security of the community

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The ABC understands police will increase patrols around licensed venues from tonight.

"The NSW Police remains committed to ensuring safety and security of the community in responding to alcohol-related crime," a NSW Police spokesperson said.

From today, patrons can enter licensed venues in the CBD and Oxford Street after 1:30am.

Police and the hospitality industry gear up for the end of Sydney's controversial lockout laws, which are officially dropped today.© ABC News Images Police and the hospitality industry gear up for the end of Sydney's controversial lockout laws, which are officially dropped today.

Restrictions on serving cocktails, shots and drinks in glass after midnight are gone and venues with "good records" will have their last drinks extended by half an hour to 3:30am.

Bottleshops across NSW can also stay open until midnight from Monday to Saturday, with an 11:00pm closing time on Sunday.

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NSW Police say there were no reports of alcohol-fuelled violence in Sydney 's CBD as the city's controversial lockout laws officially ended . But a NSW Police spokeswoman on Tuesday confirmed the first night was incident-free and "nothing happened" in the CBD.

The NSW Government are set to repeal the controversial lockout laws , which saw Sydney 's The lockout laws were introduced in 2014 as a way to shut down alcohol-fuelled violence, following the A parliamentary report is expected at the end of this month. In a statement, Berejiklian said that there is

Some venues in central Sydney have already planned celebration parties this weekend to mark the end of the much-maligned legislation.

The laws were introduced in 2014 by then-premier Barry O'Farrell in a bid to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence.

They were sparked by the "coward-punch" deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie in Kings Cross.

Assaults in Kings Cross dropped by 53 per cent across a five-year period after the laws were introduced, according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).

CBD assaults also dropped to 13 per cent over the first two and a half years, before levelling out to 4 per cent across the same five-year period.

Police and the hospitality industry gear up for the end of Sydney's controversial lockout laws, which are officially dropped today.© ABC News Images Police and the hospitality industry gear up for the end of Sydney's controversial lockout laws, which are officially dropped today.

However, many argued the drop in assaults correlated with a drop in patrons caused by the new nightlife rules.

Areas outside the lockout law boundaries saw an increase in violence, with a 30 per cent jump in assaults across Newtown, Double Bay, Bondi and Coogee.

The venue restrictions also wreaked havoc on the city's nightlife, with a NSW parliamentary inquiry last year hearing about 270 venues were forced to shut down.

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Analysis by Deloitte Access Economics found Sydney was missing out on $16 billion a year because its night-time economy was underdeveloped.

Tim Piccione, a pub manager in The Rocks, was worried the damage to Sydney's reputation and hospitality industry was already done.

But he was nevertheless excited by the lockout laws being lifted.

"I think it's definitely going to be a good thing to encourage people to come in and actually feel like they can stay out late," he said.

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