Protected Entertainment Precincts to be in place within weeks in five areas including Northbridge

Controversial new laws banning violent offenders from entertainment precincts are set to be in place by the end of the year, but the WA government says associated police guidelines will not be made public.

The legislation, which passed state parliament late last night, will create five ‘Protected Entertainment Precincts’, covering much of Northbridge and the Perth CBD, Fremantle, Scarborough, Hillarys and Mandurah.

The zones have been labelled PEPs in honour of nightclub manager Giuseppe “Pep” Raco, who was killed in an unprovoked one-punch attack in Northbridge in 2020.

Anyone who is convicted of a range of violent and sexual offences, including drink spiking, in a PEP would automatically be banned from all precincts for five years after leaving prison.

Protected Entertainment Precincts to be in place within weeks in five areas including Northbridge
The government is finalising regulations for the laws, including to identify the exact precinct zones.(ABC News: Kenith Png)

But a separate power, which allows police to ban people for up to six months for “unlawful, antisocial, disorderly, offensive, indecent [or] threatening” conduct has raised concerns, particularly over the possibility Indigenous people could be unfairly targeted.

Regulations yet to be finalised

More than two months after the legislation was first announced, Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti said some work still had to be done before the laws took effect, something he hoped would happen before the end of the year.

A head and shoulders shot of WA Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti speaking outside state parliament.
Tony Buti says the laws will be effective if there is a decrease in violent behaviour.(ABC News: Keane Bourke)

That work includes finalising regulations to provide extra detail around the laws, including the specific areas that will become PEPs.

WA Police will also have to provide guidelines to officers setting out how the powers are to be used, although that information will not be released publicly.

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