Violent offenders are to be banned from Western Australian entertainment venues following the death of Giuseppe Raco

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People convicted of violent crimes in Perth’s entertainment precincts face being banned from entering those areas for up to five years under new legislation to be introduced next month.

The State Government says much of Northbridge, Fremantle, Scarborough, Hillarys, Mandurah and much of the Perth CBD including Elizabeth Quay will be included following advice from WA Police.

These exclusion areas will be labeled Protected Entertainment Precincts, or PEPs — an acronym designed to honor nightclub boss Giuseppe “Pep” Raco, a nightclub manager who was killed in an unprovoked one-punch attack in Northbridge in 2020.

In a statement, the government thanked Mr Raco’s widow, Enza Raco, for campaigning for the new laws.

Offenses to be covered include murder, non-consensual sexual penetration, unlawful assault causing death and spiking drinks.

It is expected that it will apply to a convicted person for up to a five-year period after their release from prison, and a breach of the new law could be met with up to five years in prison or a $12,000 fine.

The police will issue a ban on ‘anti-social behaviour’

A government spokesman said police could also order someone to be banned from a PEP for six months and “further apply for an order for up to five years”.

A close-up of police tape with police vehicles in the background out of focus.
WA Police will also be given the power to issue “exclusion orders” to perpetrators of anti-social behaviour.(ABC News: Jessica Warriner)

These orders can be used when “a person is behaving in an unlawful, antisocial, disorderly, offensive, indecent and threatening manner in an area; and the person being in the area is likely to cause violence or public disorder or affect the safety of others” .

The penalty for violating such an order will be up to two years in prison and a $12,000 fine.

Exceptions to PEP exclusions apply for work, housing, education, health and other approved purposes.

Lord Mayor welcomes repression

Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas told ABC Radio Perth that the City of Perth had been calling for tougher measures to target anti-social behavior for some time.

Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas looks contemplative as he addresses the media.
Basil Zempilas says the changes will send a message to troublemakers that they are not welcome in entertainment areas. (ABC News: Hugh Sando)

“These tougher new laws will effectively say to people if you have a history of carrying on like a fool and you want to come to one of our entertainment areas and carry on like a fool, not only are you no longer welcome, in fact now it be illegal,” he said.

“The tougher we are on these kinds of people the better, and that’s what our society wants.

“People and families should be able to go out into Northbridge, into Scarborough, into Fremantle and not worry about getting home safely at the end of their outing.”

Sir. Zempilas also said an increased police presence in the city and Northbridge has already made a difference.

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