More drunks banned from Melbourne nightspots

Almost 17 people a week are being banned from the CBD and Dandenong as part of a police crackdown on alcohol-fuelled crime and violence.

New figures show that police handed out 1091 banning notices to troublemakers in popular Victorian entertainment precincts last financial year, up 28 per cent from the previous year.

While the majority of notices were handed out in the CBD, Dandenong emerged as a new trouble spot, with 214 notices handed out in the year to June 30, 2012 – the second-most in the state.

Banning notices prohibit troublemakers from a designated area or licensed premise for up to 72 hours if police suspect they have committed an offence, or are behaving in a drunken or offensive manner.

In April 2011, Liquor Licensing Victoria responded to requests from police and declared central Dandenong a "designated area" where police could issue banning notices.

Other designated areas include Ballarat, Bendigo and parts of the CBD, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra.

Senior Sergeant Michael Wearne said that previously, Dandenong police had difficulties asking troublemakers and drunks to move on.

"Certain clients of ours didn't want to move on and they would cause confrontational issues," he said.

"We simply have words with them now and serve them a banning notice and give them an opportunity to leave, which they normally take up because they have a piece of paper which says they have to leave."

Dandenong Retail Traders Association chairwoman Glenys Cooper said banning notices had improved safety and helped defuse potentially dangerous situations on the streets, in parks and in bars.

The police figures, which were tabled in State Parliament on Tuesday, also show that more than 50 per cent of people who received their first banning notice for the year were aged between 15 and 24.

Police made 65 exclusions orders– which can ban a person from an area for up to a year.

This was down from 72 the previous year.

Eighty-eight banning notices were handed out in Prahran, 28 in Port Phillip and 25 in Frankston. The number of notices issued in Melbourne's CBD dropped from 687 to 667.

In the 2009-10 financial year, police issued 1868 banning notices.

This story More drunks banned from Melbourne nightspots first appeared on The Age.