A 4 triple zed news reporter observed at least 3 plainclothed people, apparently police officers, as they were armed with handguns, conducting a noise inspection at West End venue The Music Kafe last Friday night. The people entered at about 11.20pm during the first set of local band The Love Buckles, and spent approximately 25 minutes checking the noise levels and questioning the security guard at the front door. After they left the band was required to turn down the level of their music, and then finished their second set early.A staff member at The Music Kafe said that no complaints had been lodged by local residents or businesses, and the police appear to be acting on their own initiative. He also advised that the Music Kafe’s licence allows for a sound level of 101 decibels. Queensland Police’s media unit was unable to provide authorised comment by the time of this bulletin but a response from them is expected and will be placed on this blog.
UPDATE: Response from Queensland Police Media to my questions about the noise inspection:
Question One: Can I confirm that these were police officers? How many officers were in attendance?
This was a joint Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (OLGR) and Queensland Police Service operation. Three OLGR investigators and three police officers attended.
Question Two: Was this a routine inspection of sound or was it in response to a complaint? If it was based on a complaint, who was the complaint from? If you can’t provide full details, can you advise me if it was from a residence, or business, or some other source?
Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing requested police assist with their inspection.
Question Three: Were any other licensed premises in West End inspected for noise on Friday night?
Other licensed premises in the South Brisbane precinct were inspected.
Question Four: Is it usual for armed officers to carry out noise inspections?
Liquor Licensing Inspectors carried out the noise inspections. Firearms are accoutrements worn by operational police officers while conducting their duties.
Question Five: What level of sound was detected by the officers’ equipment?
Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing is the agency best able to address this question.
Question Six: Were any violations other than noise levels observed or detected in the course of the inspection?
Yes, investigations have not been finalised.
Question Seven: Who would instruct officers to carry out such an inspection? How would they weigh up what the best use of resources is?
The Queensland Police Service is committed to proactive strategies to ensure licensed premises comply with the restrictions of their liquor licences and responsible service of alcohol. Police often work with other government agencies to conduct combined operations.