Evidence suggests that licensed premises are often associated with alcohol-related harm, particularly violent crime. However, not all Licensed premises appear to be equal contributors to alcohol-related problems in the community. This paper examines the distribution of harmful outcomes across licensed premises in three inner-urban areas of NSW. Police-recorded assault incidents on licensed premises in inner Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong over a 2-year period were analysed. In inner Sydney 12% of hotels and nightclubs accounted for almost 60% of all assaults at hotels and nightclubs, in inner Newcastle 8% of licensed premises accounted for nearly 80% of all assaults on licensed premises and in inner Wollongong 6% of licensed premises accounted for 67% of all on-premises assaults. The analysis also found that assault incidents on licensed premises were concentrated late at night or early in the morning and on weekends. Licence types identified as being the most problematic for violence on licensed premises were hotels and nightclubs. In particular, hotels with extended or 24-hour trading recorded a greater number of assaults compared with those trading standard hours. The implications of these findings for crime prevention and law enforcement strategies are discussed.
In recent times, much media attention has been focused on crime associated with illicit drug use and, consequently, resources have often been devoted to identifying and targeting the associated problems. However, evidence from the most recent National Drug Strategy Household survey (NDSH) suggests that Australians are more than twice as likely to be victims of alcohol-related violence, such as verbal and physical abuse, than to be victims of violent incidents related to any other drugs (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 1999). The extent of alcohol-related harm in Australia is further evident by the fact that 6505 males and 2049 females had to be hospitalised and a further 84 males and 40 females died as a result of an alcohol-related assault in 1997 (Chikritzhs, Jonas, Heale, Dietze, Hanlin & Stockwell, 1999). The consumption of alcohol is generally a socially acceptable part of Australian culture but some drinking, particularly drinking at high-risk levels, is associated with a considerable amount of harm to the community. The present study investigates to what extent particular licensed premises contribute disproportionately to this harm.
Criminological research, mapping the locations of crime, has repeatedly demonstrated that crime is not randomly distributed but is concentrated in particular locations (e.g., Block & Block, 1995; Jochelson, 1997; Sherman, Gartin & Berger, 1989). Similarly, research in the area of alcohol-related crime has highlighted the importance of place in understanding alcohol-related violence and aggression (Graham, West & Wells, 2000; Homel, Tomsen & Thommeny, 1992; Homel, 1999; Homel & Clark, 1994; Stockwell, Lang & Rydon, 1993). Licensed premises are one type of drinking setting that is often found to be associated with a substantial amount of alcohol-related harm. Geographical analyses in the United States (US) have shown that areas with higher concentrations of liquor outlets also have higher rates of violent crime, even when possible confounders such as levels of unemployment, ethnic/racial makeup, income and age-structure are taken into account (Scribner, MacKinnon & Dwyer, 1995). In Australia, a recent analysis of the NDSH survey data reveals that more persons are assaulted by an intoxicated person in pubs and clubs than in any other location (Teece & Williams, 2000).
Evidence from further studies conducted overseas and in Australia suggest that not all licensed premises contribute equally to this harm but rather that a small minority of problematic licensed premises are associated with the vast majority of alcohol-related problems. In a study of taverns in the Milwaukee area, Sherman, Rogan and Velke (1991, cited in Sherman, 1992) showed that only 12% of all taverns produced over half of the 2019 violent offences reported between 1986 and 1989, while 40% of taverns in this area had no violent incidents over the same 4-year period. These findings were also extended to the Kansas City area, where it was found that only 10% of taverns produced half of the 2757 violent offences reported between 1985 and 1989 and that 31% of taverns were associated with no violent offences over this same time period.
In Sydney, Homel and Clark (1994) conducted an observational study of licensed premises to examine the distribution of violent incidents across 45 sites within 36 premises (some premises had several bars or entertainment areas which permitted drinking). They found that over three quarters of incidents involving physical aggression were concentrated in less than one fifth of the sites and that two-thirds of the sites had no violent incidents recorded at all. This pattern of clustering within premises was also found for aggressive incidents classified as nonviolent in nature. Considine, Walker, Wiggers, Daly, Hazell and Fairhall (1998) report similar findings from a "linking" project in the Newcastle region which has police collecting information on the last place of drinking for all crime incidents assessed as being alcohol-related. The preliminary results from this project show that of the 400 or more licensed premises in the area of interest, only 21 had an above average number of alcohol-related incidents, with four premises in particular accounting for a large majority of these.
Stockwell and colleagues used a risk ratio approach to classify licensed premises in Perth as either high- or low-risk for alcohol-related harm. The risk ratio for each premises was determined by the number of traffic accidents and/or drink-driving offences attributed to them by police adjusting for the amount of alcohol purchased per annum at each venue. (1) They found that hotels and nightclubs evidenced higher levels of harm compared with either restaurants or registered clubs (Stockwell, Somerford & Lang, 1992). Within one of these at-risk licence types, namely hotels, a highly skewed distribution of risk was revealed, whereby only a small percentage of the 84 hotels examined could be classified as high-risk for alcohol-related traffic accidents and driving offences (Stockwell, 1997).
The drinking setting can exert considerable influence on behaviour through expectations, physical and social characteristics of the environment, levels of intoxication allowed and the characteristics of others in the setting (Graham & West, 2001). In order to successfully identify the role of each of these situational risk factors in alcohol-related violence, it is important that the distribution of harmful outcomes across licensed premises be better understood. Such information should be of valuable assistance in the planning and structuring of interventions aimed at reducing the level of harm associated with licensed premises.
Aims of the Current Study
The current study aims to build on previous research by examining in more detail the distribution of violent crime across licensed premises in the inner-urban areas of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. Unlike previous analyses of this kind, reported assaults on a//licensed premises are considered and data from the NSW Department of Gaming and Racing are utilised to provide an accurate quantification of the proportion of premises that account for the majority of on-premises assaults in these three localities. The analysis also examines characteristics of violent crime on licensed premises in inner-urban areas, such as the time of day and day of week that assaults typically occur, the severity of recorded assaults, as well as the licence type of problematic premises. To investigate a possible risk factor associated with violence on licensed premises, a secondary analysis of assault incidents at inner Sydney hotels was conducted, comparing the trading hours of repeat-assault hotels with those that recorded no or very few assault incidents. This sub-analysis was restricted to inner Sydney hotels since this was the only area that had sufficient variation in trading hours to detect a possible effect. Given the difficulty of attributing outdoor assaults to particular premises in areas of high liquor-outlet density this analysis is restricted to assaults occurring on licensed premises. In doing so we are assuming that high frequency repeated victimisation on particular premises is a valid marker for more general problems associated with a particular venue. This is a reasonable assumption, given evidence documenting higher blood alcohol levels and overt signs of intoxication from patrons exiting high-risk, as opposed to low-risk, premises in Perth (Stockwell et al., 1992).
Data used in this analysis were extracted from the New South Wales (NSW) Police Service's Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS) for the period July 1998 through June 2000. Assaults on licensed premises in the inner Sydney (postcodes 2000, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 (2)), the inner Newcastle (postcodes 2300, 2302, 2303) and the inner Wollongong (postcode 2500) areas recorded by police over the 2-year period were examined. These three inner-urban areas were selected because they contain numerous entertainment venues, including hotels, clubs and restaurants, which attract a large number of people from the surrounding densely populated areas.
For each incident recorded in COPS, a property name, street number and street name can be entered for the location where the incident occurred. In the present analysis, the property name was used to identify the licensed premises involved in each assault incident. The property name was then verified against a database provided by the NSW Department of Gaming and Racing which contained the premises names, addresses and licence numbers of all the licensed venues in NSW. If the property name did not match any venues included in the Gaming and Racing database or was missing for a particular incident, the street number and street name were used to obtain an address for the licensed premises. This address was then matched to the licensed premises name recorded in the Gaming and Racing database. If both the property name and the street address were incorrect or missing, the narrative section of the police incident report was accessed directly from the COPS system and the licensed premises name obtained from the narrative was then verified against the Gaming and Racing database. Once the premises name had been determined for each assault incident, the licence number was identified and used as the unit of analysis for further calculations. Therefore, any assaults occurring at venues where either the licence name had changed, the licence had been transferred to another licensee, or more than one bar was operating under the same licence during the 2-year period, were included under the one licence number.
A total of 1153 assault incidents on licensed premises were recorded by police in inner Sydney between July 1998 and June 2000. In inner Newcastle and inner Wollongong a total of 295 assault incidents and 198 assault incidents on licensed premises were recorded by police during this same 2-year period, respectively. As shown in Table 1, the large majority of these incidents occurred at venues which could be classified according to their licence type as a hotel. Nightclubs were the second most frequent type of licensed premises at which assaults occurred in inner Newcastle and inner Wollongong, and the third most frequent type of licensed premises at which assaults occurred in the inner Sydney area. This is despite the fact that hotels and nightclubs only represent a small minority of all licensed premises in these three areas (see Table 2). (3) In comparison to inner Sydney and Newcastle, a greater percentage of assault incidents in Wollongong occurred at nightclubs. This is probably due to the fact that a larger percentage of licensed premises in Wollongong are nightclubs (6%), than in either inner Sydney (3%) or Newcastle (1%). This finding that a large majority of assault incidents occurred at licensed premises classified as hotels and nightclubs is consistent with previous Western Australian research demonstrating that Perth hotels and nightclubs are at greater risk of being involved in incidents of alcohol-related harm (Stockwell, Somerford & Lang, 1992).
One other type of licensed premises that was identified in assault incidents, particularly in the smaller urban areas of Newcastle and Wollongong, was registered clubs. Registered clubs in inner Newcastle recorded 9% of all assaults on licensed premises while registered clubs in inner Wollongong recorded 6% of all assaults on licensed premises. In all three areas, only a relatively small percentage of all assault incidents on licensed premises were accounted for by venues classified as restaurants. Unique to the inner Sydney area is the Sydney Casino which includes various types of bars and licensed restaurants. This licensed venue alone recorded a total of 65 assault incidents during the 2-year study period or 6% of all assaults on licensed premises in inner Sydney.
Table 3 shows the number of assault incidents on licensed premises in inner Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong by the type of assault recorded by the police. While the majority of assaults on licensed premises in these three inner-urban areas were classified by police as common assaults a substantial number involved more serious harm to the victim(s). For 455 incidents (39%) in inner Sydney and 109 incidents (37%) in inner Newcastle, the assault was recorded by police as being one which occasioned either actual or grievous bodily harm. In inner Wollongong, just over one quarter of all assault incidents on licensed premises were classified as occasioning actual or grievous bodily harm to the victim. The serious harm associated with assaults on licensed premises may be due to the fact that the persons involved would have easier access to weapons such as beer glasses and bottles (see Shepherd, 1994) or that they typically involve young males who are strong and fit (Briscoe & Donnelly, 2001). This pattern of offending should, however, be interpreted with caution since it could also reflect a tendency on the part of licensed premises or victims to seek police assistance only for more serious assaults.
Temporal Aspects of Assaults on Licensed Premises
One of the most robust findings in alcohol and crime research is that alcohol-related incidents frequently occur late at night or in the early hours of the morning and on weekends (e.g., Briscoe & Donnelly, 2001; Devery, 1992; Ireland & Thommeny, 1993; Jochelson, 1997; Chikritzhs, Stockwell & Masters, 1997). Similar results are evident from our examination of assault incidents on licensed premises in inner-urban areas. Figure 1 shows the percentage of assaults on licensed premises in inner Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong during the study period by the time at which they were reported to occur, Assault incidents on licensed premises in all three areas increased markedly from 9 p.m. onwards, peaking between midnight and 3 a.m. In both inner Sydney and Newcastle, slightly more assaults on licensed premises occurred between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. than between 9 p.m. and midnight. This is despite the fact that fewer licensed premises would be operating after 3 a.m. and, presumably, fewer people would be visiting licensed venues. Increased intoxication levels of patrons during these peak times and the pooling of intoxicated patrons into premises with later closing times are possible explanations for this temporal pattern. Other factors associated with the drinking setting, such as feelings of frustration arising from overcrowding, in combination with these higher levels of intoxication may also contribute to this higher rate of "early morning" assaults (Homel & Tomsen, 1993).
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
The most frequent times for assaults on licensed premises in inner Wollongong differed from inner Sydney and Newcastle in that only a small percentage of assault incidents in Wollongong (2%) occurred between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. In comparison, the inner Sydney area recorded 19% of all assault incidents on licensed premises between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., and Newcastle recorded 23% of all assault incidents during this same time period. The likely reason for this difference is that fewer hotels and nightclubs located in Wollongong have authorisation to trade later than 3 a.m. This pronounced shift in the timing of assault incidents on licensed premises in areas that have more late-trading venues has important implications for the targeting of interventions or law enforcement resources to high-risk time periods.
Figure 2 presents the percentage of assault incidents on licensed premises in inner Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong during the period July 1998 through June 2000 by the day on which the incident was reported to occur. In all three inner-urban areas a relatively large majority of all assaults on licensed premises recorded during the 2-year study period occurred on weekends. When examining both the time and the day on which the incident was reported to occur it becomes evident that the early hours of Sunday morning between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m. is the most likely time for assaults to occur on licensed premises. Similarly, assaults frequently occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m. in these two areas. These two time periods alone accounted for 23% of all the assaults on licensed premises in inner Sydney and 37% of all assaults on licensed premises in inner Newcastle. While assaults on licensed premises in Wollongong peaked on Saturdays rather than on Sundays, Saturday 12 a.m.-3 a.m. and Sunday 12 a.m.-3 a.m. were still the most frequent times for assaults on licensed premises in this area. These two time periods accounted for 41% of all assaults on licensed premises in inner Wollongong. The rise in assaults during the Saturday and Sunday early morning time periods reflects the fact that more people would be visiting hotels and nightclubs on Friday and Saturday nights than at any other time. Presumably, patrons are also more likely to be highly intoxicated late in the night and early the following morning. Both of these factors would increase the risk of violence occurring on licensed premises at these times.
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
Assaults at Inner Sydney Hotels and Nightclubs
Over 80% of all assaults on licensed premises in inner Sydney occurred at venues that have either a hotel or nightclub licence. This is despite the fact that hotels and nightclubs represent only 23% of all licensed premises in this area. Furthermore, it appears that only a small proportion of all hotels and nightclubs account for the majority of assaults on these types of premises. This point is illustrated by Figure 3, which graphs all the hotels and nightclubs included in the inner Sydney district by the number of assaults occurring on their premises for the period July 1998 through June 2000. One important observation from these data is that 100 (39%) out of a total of 252 hotels and nightclubs in inner Sydney recorded no assaults on their premises during the 2-year study period. However, 27 hotels and 2 nightclubs (12% of all premises with a hotel or nightclub licence) had 10 or more assaults reported to have occurred on their premises during the same two years. These top 29 hotels and nightclubs accounted for 58% of all assaults on these types of premises in inner Sydney (i.e., a total of 546 assault incidents). Just 7 of these hotels (3%) recorded 24% of all assaults at inner Sydney hotels and nightclubs or 227 assault incidents during the two years. These findings suggest that not all hotels and nightclubs are at high risk of repeat assault incidents on their premises but rather only a small proportion. A similar distribution of risk was previously found for hotels in the Perth area, with the majority of premises categorised as low-risk for alcohol-related offences and only a small number of hotels falling into the high-risk group (Stockwell, 1997).
[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]
Assaults on Licensed Premises in Inner Newcastle and Inner Wollongong
A similar analysis of assault incidents on licensed premises in inner Newcastle and inner Wollongong revealed that, as with inner Sydney, the majority of assaults on licensed premises in these inner-urban areas were confined to a small number of establishments. In inner Newcastle, only 10 licensed premises (8% of all licensed premises) had 10 or more on-premises assault incidents recorded by police during the 2-year study period. These 10 venues recorded a total of 233 assaults or 79% of all assault incidents recorded on licensed premises in the inner Newcastle area. Just 5 of these 10 venues, or 4% of all licensed venues, recorded over half of all assault incidents on Newcastle's licensed premises. Similarly, only a small number of problematic licensed premises in inner Wollongong accounted for the vast majority of the alcohol-related harm in this area. Six licensed premises in inner Wollongong recorded 10 or more on-premises assault incidents between July 1998 and June 2000. These six licensed premises (6% of all licensed premises) accounted for 132 assault incidents reported to police or 67% of all assault incidents on licensed premises in inner Wollongong.
As described previously hotels, nightclubs and registered clubs accounted for a disproportionate amount of assaults on licensed premises in inner Newcastle and inner Wollongong (see Table 1 and Table 2). However, even amongst this group of high-risk premises assaults appear to be confined to a small number of venues. This is illustrated by Figure 4 and Figure 5, which graph all the hotels, nightclubs and registered clubs in inner Newcastle and inner Wollongong by the number of assaults occurring on their premises during the 2-year study period.
[FIGURE 4 OMITTED]
[FIGURE 5 OMITTED]
Trading Hours of Problematic Licensed Premises
One question which arises from the above results is: what distinguishes licensed premises which have repeat assault incidents from those which have no or very few assault incidents reported to police? Previous research has demonstrated that after extended trading permits were granted to particular hotels/taverns in Perth, the monthly assault rate associated with those licensed premises more than doubled while remaining static for premises without extended trading (Chikritzhs, Stockwell & Masters, 1997). Furthermore, the present findings indicate that 56% of all assaults on licensed premises in inner Sydney were reported to occur between 12 a.m.-3 a.m. and 3 a.m.-6 a.m. (see Figure 1). These results suggest that licensed premises that wade later than midnight (i.e., non-standard trading hours) would be expected to have more assaults occurring on their premises. Support for this proposition was found when we examined the authorised trading hours of licensed premises in inner Sydney where numerous assaults occurred during the 2-year study period. As mentioned previously, this analysis was restricted to hotels in inner Sydney since this was the only area that had sufficient variation in wading hours to detect a possible effect. Results showed that the vast majority (74%) of inner Sydney hotels which had 10 or more assaults on their premises during the study period also had authorisation to trade on a 24-hour basis. (4) By way of contrast, no inner Sydney hotels with standard trading hours had 10 or more assaults on their premises during the 2-year period. However, it was also found that 19% of hotels that recorded no assaults also had authorisation for 24-hour trading, suggesting other factors in addition to extended trading also increase the risk of violence at hotels. Further research is needed to better identify the characteristics of licensed premises that are associated with repeat assault incidents.
The findings from these analyses provide further evidence that a minority of licensed premises in particular inner-urban areas account for the vast majority of on-premises assaults. In inner Sydney, 12% of hotels and nightclubs accounted for almost 60% of all assaults on hotel/nightclub premises and just 3% of hotels and nightclubs accounted for over one-quarter of all assaults on hotel/nightclub premises. Similarly, in Newcastle 8% of licensed premises accounted for nearly 80% of all on-premises assaults and in Wollongong 6% of licensed premises accounted for two thirds of all on-premises assaults. While it is acknowledged that the problematic licensed premises identified by this analysis are not the only contributors to the overall harm associated with licensed venues, the current findings do suggest that violence on licensed premises could be substantially reduced by targeting limited law enforcement resources to high-risk premises.
The present findings also demonstrated that assaults on licensed premises in inner-urban areas were not evenly distributed across time but were concentrated late at night or early in the morning and on weekends. Important differences in the temporal distribution of assaults on licensed premises between the inner Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong areas are also highlighted by the results of the analyses. In the relatively smaller urban centres of Newcastle and Wollongong, assault incidents on licensed premises were even more concentrated late at night during weekends than assault incidents on licensed premises in inner Sydney. Furthermore, a comparison of the times when on-premises assaults occurred in Wollongong with those recorded in the other two areas revealed a shift in the timing of assaults to coincide with the later closing times of licensed premises in inner Sydney and Newcastle.
When considering the above evidence, two limitations of the current study should be kept in mind. First, the use of recorded crime data to estimate the problems associated with licensed premises fails to take into account unreported assaults. Other research suggests that up to 70% of victims of alcohol-related physical abuse do not report the incident to police (Bryant & Williams, 2000). Similarly, Tomsen, Homel and Thommeny (1991) found that of 32 assaults witnessed on Sydney licensed premises only three cases resulted in the police being called. In the current analysis, however, the number of assault incidents is used as an indicator of the problems associated with a particular venue rather than a measure of the absolute number of violent incidents occurring at any one place. This means that although the overall rate of assaults on problematic premises would appear relatively low in light of the number of people visiting these venues, the figures presented here are likely to underestimate the actual amount of violence occurring at these establishments. Furthermore, the direct observational studies of Homel & Clark (1994), which would not have been affected by under-reporting, demonstrated a similar skewed pattern of a minority of licensed premises accounting for the majority of problems.
Second, although some problematic licensed premises recorded numerous assaults during the 2-year study period, this does not necessarily mean that these places present a high victimisation risk. To estimate the risk of assault victimisation at these venues, the number of potential victims would also need to be taken into account. Since a large number of people would be visiting the licensed premises included in the current study the risk of assault for each patron would seem relatively low. This having been said, the risk of assault would arguably be much higher for patrons of licensed premises than for those persons who do not visit licensed premises at all. Evidence from the 1998 National Crime and Safety survey shows that 12% of all assault victims (approximately 80,000 persons) report that the most recent assault incident occurred at a pub/club and for male victims alone, 18% (just over 60,000 persons) report being assaulted at pubs/clubs (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1999). Furthermore, the relatively large volume of assault offences on licensed premises in inner Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong in comparison to other areas in the State should make them the focus of crime prevention and law enforcement strategies.
Given the results of the present analysis, the issue of what factors distinguish the more from the less problematic premises becomes paramount in terms of planning effective interventions and/or enforcement practices to minimise alcohol-related harm. Two characteristics of problematic licensed premises that emerge from the present study are that they are more likely to be hotels or nightclubs than any other type of licensed premises and that they are more likely to have extended trading beyond standard hours. We also found that several licensed premises that were hotels, and had 24-hour or extended trading, did not have repeat assaults on their premises, suggesting other additional factors also contribute to the risk of violence on licensed premises. Some characteristics of licensed premises which observational studies have identified as being associated with alcohol-related harm include low comfort, high boredom, aggressive bouncers, discounted drinks (Homel, Tomsen & Thommeny, 1992), poor ventilation, lack of cleanliness, a hostile atmosphere (Graham, LaRoque, Yetman, Ross & Guistra, 1980), overcrowding and inadequate numbers of bar staff (Homel & Clark, 1994). These predictive factors which are specific to the drinking venue offer considerable potential to reduce violence on licensed premises because they are under the control of management and relatively easy to regulate.
An additional venue-specific factor consistently found to be associated with harm on licensed premises is bar staff continuing to serve obviously intoxicated persons (Graham et al., 1980; Homel & Clark, 1994; Homel et al., 1992; Lang, Stockwell, Rydon & Lockwood, 1995; Stockwell, Lung & Rydon, 1993). Provisions contained in the NSW liquor laws do prohibit the presence and serving of intoxicated persons on licensed premises but evidence suggests that these types of laws are often ignored (Andreasson, Lindewald & Rehnman, 2000; Rydon, Stockwell, Lang & Bed, 1996). While determining the optimal mix of educational/knowledge-based and enforcement-based initiatives to reduce alcohol-related problems remains a significant challenge for this area of public policy, proactive enforcement of responsible service legislation is one strategy that has been shown to reduce the harm associated with specific licensed premises. Evidence for the effectiveness of this approach in minimising alcohol-related harm on licensed premises comes from evaluations of police enforcement initiatives conducted both in the United States (McKnight & Streff, 1994; Levy & Miller, 1995) and the United Kingdom (Jeffs & Saunders, 1983). Similarly, Lang and Rumbold (1997) in their comparison of three Australian community-based initiatives for reducing violence on and around licensed premises suggest that enforcement, or the perception of it, appears to be the most effective means of reducing alcohol-related problems.
Furthermore, since a small minority of licensed premises appear to be the most problematic for alcohol-related violence, enforcement efforts need to be targeting these high-risk venues. If particular establishments are continually serving patrons to extreme levels of intoxication and are operating a venue in such a way that violence is a regular occurrence, appropriate sanctions could be administered by the relevant authorities to deter future violations of the law. This could include imposing conditions on the licence, varying/revoking extended trading privileges or, if necessary, revoking the licence. However, there is little available evidence documenting the extent of enforcement practice in NSW. Future research is needed to quantify the prevalence of recorded breaches of the NSW liquor laws, the types of sanctions imposed and the extent of repeat offending by higher-risk premises.
TABLE 1 Assault Incidents on Licensed Premises in Inner Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong by Licence Type, July 1998-June 2000 Licence type Inner Sydney Inner Newcastle n % n % Hotel 871 75.5 229 77.6 Registered club 38 3.3 26 8.8 Restaurant 67 5.8 2 0.7 Nightclub 66 5.7 32 10.8 Casino 65 5.6 0 0.0 Other* 31 2.7 1 0.3 Unknown 15 1.3 5 1.7 Total 1153 100.0 295 100.0 Licence Type Inner Wollongong n % Hotel 120 60.6 Registered club 12 6.1 Restaurant 2 1.0 Nightclub 61 30.8 Casino 0 0.0 Other* 3 1.5 Unknown 0 0.0 Total 198 100.0 Note: *Includes all off-licences, on-licences for motels, public halls, universities, colleges, vessels and functions, theaters and governor's licences. TABLE 2 Number of Licence Types Issued in Inner Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, November 2000 Licence type Inner Sydney Inner Newcastle n % n % Hotel 223 20.5 31 24.4 Registered club 41 3.8 11 8.7 Restaurant 535 49.2 54 42.5 Nightclub 29 2.7 1 0.8 Casino 1 0.1 0 0 Other* 259 23.8 30 23.6 Total 1088 100.0 127 100.0 Licence type Inner Wollongong n % Hotel 11 10.7 Registered club 11 10.7 Restaurant 42 40.8 Nightclub 6 5.8 Casino 0 0 Other* 33 32.0 Total 103 100.0 Note: * Includes all off-licenses, on-licenses for motels, public halls, universities, colleges, vessels, and functions, theatres and governor's licenses. TABLE 3 Assault Incidents on Licensed Premises in Inner Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong by Type of Assault, July 1998-June 2000 Inner Sydney Inner Newcastle n % n % Common assault 678 58.8 183 62.0 Actual bodily harm 392 34.0 102 34.6 Grievous bodily harm 63 5.5 7 2.4 Assault officer 19 1.6 3 1.0 Shoot with intent other than to murder 1 0.1 0 0 Total 1153 100.0 295 100.0 Inner Wollongong n % Common assault 147 74.2 Actual bodily harm 44 22.2 Grievous bodily harm 6 3.0 Assault officer 1 0.5 Shoot with intent other than to murder 0 0 Total 198 100.0
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Drug Programs Bureau, NSW Health, for funding this research, as well as the NSW Department of Gaming and Racing, and the NSW Police service who contributed to the data utilised in the analysis. We also wish to thank Dr Don Weatherburn, of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, and Prof Tim Stockwell, of the National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, for their continual input in and support of our work, as well as Karen Freeman, of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, and two anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier draft of this article.
(1) WA Police routinely ask all drivers who fail a roadside breath test to state the location where they last consumed alcohol and also the name of the establishment, if it was licensed. These data were used to attribute offences to specific licensed premises.
(2) To account for errors in the allocation of postcodes to assault incidents in the inner Sydney area a geographically defined boundary surrounding these five postcodes was specified and all assaults on licensed premises located within this boundary were also included in the analysis. This geographical area, beginning at Blackwattle Bay, was bounded by Wattle St and Abercrombie St to the West, Cleveland St to the South and South Dowling St, Barcom Ave and Waratah St to the East, ending at Rushcutters Bay Park.
(3) While this evidence suggests that the risk of assault is disproportionately high at hotels and nightclubs it should be noted that this comparison does not take account of other potential explanatory variables, such as the number of patrons or amount of alcohol consumed.
(4) Although the licensed premises classified as 24-hours have been given authorisation to trade 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, it is possible that these venues may not be trading all the time. However, it is likely that these hotels trade much later than any other venues, particularly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights which are peak times for assaults on licensed premises.
Andreasson, S., Lindewald, B., & Rehnman, C. (2000). Overserving patrons in licensed premises in Stockholm. Addiction, 95(3), 359-363.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (1999). Crone and Safety, Australia, April 1998, ABS Catalogue No. 4509.0. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (1999). National Drug Strategy Household Survey: First Results. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Block, R.L., & Block, C.R. (1995). Space, place, and crime: Hot spot areas and hot places of liquor-related crime. In R.V. Clarke (Ed.), Crime prevention studies: Volume 4 (pp. 145-183) Monsey NY: Criminal Justice Press.
Briscoe, S., & Donnelly, N. (2001). Temporal and regional aspects of alcohol-related violence and disorder. Alcohol Studies Bulletin, No. 1. Sydney: NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
Bryant, M., & Williams, P. (2000). Alcohol and other drug-related violence and non-reporting. Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 171. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.
Chikritzhs, T., Jonas, H., Heale, P., Dietze, P., Hanlin, K., & Stockwell, T. (1999). Alcohol-caused deaths and hospitalisations in Australia, 1990-1997. National Alcohol Indicators Project, Bulletin No. 1. Perth, WA: National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology.
Chikritzhs, T, Stockwell, T., & Masters, L. (1997). Evaluation of the public health and safety impact of extended wading permits for Perth hotels and nightclubs. Perth: National Centre for Research into the Prevention of Drug Abuse, Curtin University of Technology.
Considine, R., Walker, A., Wiggers, J., Daly, J., Hazell, T., & Fairhall, S. (1998, August). Strategies to reduce alcohol-related harm in the Hunter. Two collaborative approaches. Paper presented at the Partnerships in Crime Prevention Conference, Hobart. Retrieved 72 November, 2000, from http://www.aic.gov.au/conferences/partnership/ considin.pdf
Devery, C. (1992). Mapping crime in local government areas: Assault and break and enter in Waverley. Sydney: NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
Graham, K., LaRoque, L., Yetman, R., Ross, T.J., & Guistra, E. (1980). Aggression and bar morn environments. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 41,277-292.
Graham, K., & West, P. (2001). Alcohol and crime: Examining the link. In N. Heather, 1". Peters & T. Stockwell (Eds.), International handbook of alcohol dependence and problems (pp. 439-470). UK: John Wiley & Son Ltd.
Graham, K., West, P., & Wells, S. (2000). Evaluating theories of alcohol-related aggression using observations of young adults in bars. Addiction, 95(6), 847-863.
Homel, R. (1999). Preventing violence: A review of the literature on violence and violence prevention. Report prepared for the Crime Prevention Division of the NSW Attorney General's Department.
Homel, R., & Clark, J. (1994). The prediction and prevention of violence in pubs and clubs. In R.V. Clarke (Ed.), Crime prevention studies: Volume 3 (pp. 1-46). Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press.
Homel, R., Tomsen, S., & Thommeny, J. (1992). Public drinking and violence: Not just an alcohol problem. The Journal of Drug Issues, 22(3), 679-697.
Homel, R., & Tomsen, S. (1993). Hot spots for violence: The environment of pubs and clubs. In H. Strang & S. Gerull (Eds.), Homicide: Patterns, prevention & control. Conference proceedings 12-14 May. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.
Ireland, C.S., & Thommeny, J.L. (1993). The crime cocktail: Licensed premises alcohol and street offences. Drug and Alcohol Review, 12, 143-150.
Jeffs, B.W., & Saunders, W.M. (1983). Minimizing alcohol related offences by enforcement of the existing licensing legislation. British Journal o/Addict/on, 78, 67-77.
Jochelson, R. (1997). Crime and p/ace: An analysis of assaults and robberies in inner Sydney. Sydney: NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
Lang, E., Stockwell, T., Rydon, P. & Lockwood, A. (1995). Drinking setting and problems of intoxication. Addiction Research, 3,141-149.
Lang, E., & Rumbold, G. (1997). The effectiveness of community-based interventions to reduce violence in and around licensed premises: A comparison of three Australian models. Contemporary Drug Problems, 24(2), 805-826.
Levy, D.T., & Miller, T.R. (1995). A cost-benefit analysis of enforcement efforts to reduce serving intoxicated patrons. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 56,240-247.
McKnight, A.J., & Streff, F.M. (1994). The effect of enforcement upon service of alcohol to intoxicated patrons of bars and restaurants. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 26, 79-88.
Rydon, P., Stockwell, T., Lang, E., & Bed, A. (1996). Pseudo-drunk-patron evaluation of bar-staff compliance with Western Australian liquor law. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 20, 290-295.
Scribner, R.A., MacKinnon, D.P., & Dwyer, J.H. (1995). The risk of assaultive violence and alcohol availability in Los Angeles County. American Journal of Public Health, 85(3), 335-340.
Shepherd, J. (1994). Preventing injuries from bar glasses. British Medical Journal, 308,932-933.
Sherman, L.W. (1992). Attacking crime: Police and crime control. In M. Tonry & N. Morris (Eds.), Modern policing (pp. 159-229). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Sherman, L.W., Gartin, P.R., & Buerger, M.E. (1989). Hot spots of predatory crime: Routine activities and the criminology of place. Criminology, 27(1), 27-52.
Stockwell, T. (1997). Regulation of the licensed drinking environment: A major opportunity for crime prevention. In R. Homel (Ed.), Policing for prevention: Reducing crime, public intoxication and injury (pp. 7-33). Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press.
Stockwell, T., Lang, E. & Rydon, P. (1993). High risk drinking settings: the association of serving and promotional practices with harmful drinking. Addiction, 88, 1519-1526.
Stockwell, T., Rydon, P., Gianatti, S., Jenkins, E., Ovenden, C., & Syed, D. (1992). Levels of drunkenness of customers leaving licensed premises in Perth, Western Australia: A comparison of high and low risk premises. British Journal of Addiction, 87,873-881.
Stockwell, T., Somerford, P., & Lang, E. (1992). The relationship between licence type and alcohol-related problems attributed to licensed premises in Perth, Western Australia. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 52,495-498.
Teece, M., & Williams, P. (2000). Alcohol-related assault: Time and place. Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 169. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.
Tomsen, S., Homel, R., & Thommeny, J. (1991). The causes of public violence: situational versus other factors in drinking related assaults. In D. Chappell, P. Grabosky & H. Strang (Eds.), Australian ,violence: Contemporary perspectives (pp. 176-193). Canberra, Australian Institute of Criminology.
NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research,
GPO Box 6, Sydney NSW 2001, Australia, Email: Suzanne_Briscoe@agd.nsw.gov.au…