Today NSW Police are setting to brace for the worst, while hoping for the best, as the city celebrates the much anticipated removal of Sydney’s controversial lockout laws.
Set in place by the O’Farrell government in 2014 with the intention of decreasing the level of violence seen in popular night time locations around the CBD, the laws were the subject of much public outcry over the effect that the curfews caused to businesses and the city’s nightlife, with many of the city’s once lauded nighttime hubs and clubs closing their doors after suffering severely diminished trade in the years since the lockout laws were introduced.
After years of rallying and continual condemnation of the laws, in a bid to recover some of the lost trade and breathe life back into Sydney’s nightlife scene the Berijiklian government moved in November 2019 to lift the 1.30am curfew, with the changes to take effect as of today, February 14th.
The curfew will subside this evening in all Sydney locations apart from one, the once booming Kings Cross, an area which played a large part in the government’s decision to create the laws after years of multiple instances of aggravated nighttime violence. Once known as one of the city’s hotspots for it’s many pubs and clubs, the suburb had its reputation tarnished in years recent by increased instances of nighttime violence, and became synonymous with the colloquially termed “one punch/coward’s punch” after multiple one-hit attacks occurred in the area, the most notable of which being the attacks and subsequent deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie in 2012 and 2014.
While the Berijiklian government has asserted that the Kings Cross lockouts will be subject for review in another 12 months time, preparations are underway at multiple locations around the city today to herald in the return of open all hours businesses and clubs.
The NSW Police have said to be preparing for increased night time activity across the city tonight, with increased patrols around licensed venues and measures being taken to prepare for occasions of violence, with a police spokesperson stating:
“The NSW Police remains committed to ensuring safety and security in responding to alcohol-related crime.”
Featured Image Source: Keep Sydney Open rally October 2016/Ashley Mar