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Kings Cross, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is having none of it

In the late 2010s, the New South Wales government introduced “lockout laws” in Sydney’s key nightlife districts as a means to reduce alcohol-fueled violence.

One of the key business districts targeted was Kings Cross.

Although the lockout laws helped reduce alcohol-related violence, they also had an impact on Sydney’s nighttime economy.

Since the lockout laws were fully lifted in 2021, other efforts have been deployed to quell trouble.

Some campaigns, like Stay Kind, have arisen out of the private or non-government sectors.

Other campaigns have been innovative and collaborative police-led operations.

Operation Eris was established by officers from Kings Cross Police Area Command to prevent and disrupt crime and anti-social behavior throughout the local area, particularly in areas with licensed premises and restaurants.

“The proactive, high-visibility operation utilized intelligence to target known members of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs and Organized Criminal Networks.

“During the operation, local police were assisted by specialist resources from Raptor Squad, Operation Support Group, Licensing Unit, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Police Transport Command, and the Dog and Mounted Unit.”

As a result of this full-court press:

  • One-hundred random breath tests were performed on drivers in the district.
  • Twenty-eight traffic fines were issued.
  • Twenty businesses were inspected.
  • Twelve criminal charges we filed.
  • Ten people were arrested.
  • Three men – known motorcycle gang affiliates – were banned from entry to any licensed premises in the Kings Cross area for five years.
  • And one man was charged with driving while under the influence.

And this all took place in one night.

Time will tell if this is consequential, but we were impressed by the police stance that bad actors “are not welcome and will be removed using all available police powers.”

Cities across the U.S. could take note.

We might add we’re also impressed with a public safety agency’s esoteric reference to Eris (also known as Discordia, the Greek goddess of chaos). Esoterica always outsmarts acronyms (like W.A.T.C.H. – Went After The Crooks Handily).

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