It's all in the 'eyes' at Cocomangas

Cocomangas licensee Gary Charles (right) and Inspector Owen King inspect the new identification scanner outside Cocomangas Nightclub in Byron Bay.
Cocomangas licensee Gary Charles (right) and Inspector Owen King inspect the new identification scanner outside Cocomangas Nightclub in Byron Bay.

If you have a fake ID or have been kicked out of, or banned from a club or hotel for unruly or intoxicated behaviour, then don't even bother trying to get into Cocomangas Nightclub at Byron Bay.

The nightclub has just installed a $10,000, state-of-the-art, identification scanner and all patrons entering the club will have their ID scanned before being allowed entry.

The 'idEye', the first to be installed in a licensed venue on the North Coast can read more than 160 world-wide, government issued identification cards.

Cocomangas licensee Gary Charles said the scanner would take a photo of everyone entering the club and would then match it to the person's ID card.

“If the person has a fake ID or they have been in trouble and have been banned from other hotels or clubs, then their name will come up on a banned list and they will be refused entry to Cocomangas,” he said.

“It is a condition of entry that everyone coming into Cocos will have to be scanned.”

Mr Charles said the ID scanner was one of the initiatives of the Byron Liquor Accord and was an investment in not only the wellbeing of patrons at Cocomangas, but an investment in the safety of the local community.

He said there had been an 80 per cent decrease in alcohol-related assaults in the Geelong Liquor Accord area since the 'idEye' had been installed in clubs there.

“The new scanner will give us a record and a photo of everybody who comes into Cocomangas,” he said.

“While incidents at Cocos are relatively low, the 'idEye' is an excellent addition to our responsible service of alcohol provisions already used in the club and will only enhance patron safety.”

Byron Bay Police duty officer Inspector Owen King said he hoped other nightclubs and hotels would follow the Cocomangas initiative and install the scanner.

“Because the details of everyone entering the club are on a data base for 28 days, the police can use this should an incident occur in or around the premises,” he said.

“It will also help us identify those people with fake IDs and other troublemakers.

“But, this information will not be used as a tool for any other purpose.

“It's a great initiative and I congratulate Cocomangas for taking the lead in trying to make our clubs and streets a safer place.”

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