Posted December 02, 2015 19:03:21

Problem drinkers in the Northern Territory could be identified using cameras and refused alcohol under facial recognition technologies that has attracted the interest of Police Minister Peter Chandler.

“We have a lot of factors at our disposal and we must in no way appear away about emerging technology,” Mr Chandler mentioned.

“A particular person comes in, the camera … or laptop software, recognises who the person is.

“If they are on some register that they should not be buying alcohol, the truth is the person can not be served.”

Mr Chandler said the technology could give a streamlined and targeted response to the Territory’s alcohol troubles.

But Mr Chandler denied the move was a return to the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR), introduced by the former Labor government.

It was an electronic program where all buyers have been asked to present photo identification ahead of acquiring take-away alcohol and those on the register were banned from acquiring.

The BDR was dismantled by the Nation Liberals Party (CLP) when they took power in the NT in 2012 due to the fact they mentioned it had not worked.

“The old BDR impacted everybody that went into that liquor shop,” Mr Chandler stated.

“What we’re seeking at are approaches that doesn’t impact everybody and only those individuals that… are on some kind of banned register.”

BDR by yet another name?

The Opposition has slammed the move as an admission that the BDR was functioning in decreasing alcohol-fueled crime.

“Facial recognition technologies is simply the BDR,” Labor MP Natasha Fyles said.

“Police mentioned that the Banned Drinkers Register was the greatest tool they had in tackling alcohol-fuelled violence and crime in the Northern Territory,” she said.

“They [the CLP] scrapped the BDR just because it was Labor policy.

“They ought to have left it in location, it’s basic and successful.”

Mr Chandler mentioned the facial recognition technology could be a price-efficient way to bolster the current Short-term Beat Places, exactly where police officers stand outdoors alcohol outlets in Alice Springs and Katherine, but not Darwin.

Topics: alcohol, government-and-politics, nt

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