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Bikie bans dangerous to enforce, say Adelaide restaurant owners

Tony Bailey

Rigoni's owner Tony Bailey said it was not the responsibility of hospitality staff to enforce police banning orders on violent bikies. Picture: Greg Higgs Source: adelaidenow

BEFORE closing for Christmas renovations, Rigoni's Bistro kept a list of police orders banning bikies from entering the premises.

But Rigoni's Bistro proprietor Tony Bailey says he's now given up trying to enforce the mounting orders.

With the Leigh St restaurant due to re-open tomorrow after Christmas renovations, the number of orders has grown to almost 80 since 34 before the closure.

"You look at them and think, `we're supposed to enforce this'?" Mr Bailey said.

After a violent bikie fight earlier this week at a crowded Asian restaurant, Orientai, in Adelaide's northeast, Crime Gangs Taskforce Detective Superintendent John De Candia said licensed venues should be turning bikies away.

"I don't care how much money they want to spend ... I wouldn't be welcoming them into my pub," he said.


One man was arrested over the Orientai fight and will appear in the Holden Hill Magistrates Court on March 5.

Supt De Candia's comments have angered the hospitality industry because they say the bans are impractical - and potentially dangerous - to enforce.

Restaurant and Catering Association spokeswoman Sally Neville said it was ridiculous to expect a restaurant to identify people with orders against them.

She said police should detain anyone they thought was a threat to public safety rather than ask restaurants to keep them out.

"A fight like there was at Orientai could start in a tennis shop or a supermarket," she said. "From the vision I saw, no one was in club colours and there was no way anyone would have flagged they were a risk to the public."

On average, the barring orders are in force for between three and six months.

Those caught breaching the orders can be arrested and face a fine up to $1250.

Mr Bailey said young casual staff trained in hospitality could not be expected to identify people from photos or know how to turn away a bikie who wanted to come in.

He said up to 150 people a day came into Rigoni's and trying to recognise a face from police photos was "just crazy".

He said police officers who were customers had pointed out people with orders against them and asked him to take action.

Mr Bailey said he refused because it was unworkable and unsafe.

"At what stage did it become a restaurateur's responsibility to police barring orders?" he said.

"We're not trained to do any of that."


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