This paper argues that regulatory authorities should be concerned about increases in liquor outlet density.
Aim: To investigate the relationship between liquor licence concentrations and assault rates in Local Government Areas (LGAs) in New South Wales.
Method: Police, liquor licensing and socio-demographic data were analysed. Spatial regression analyses were conducted to measure associations between liquor licence concentrations and domestic violence (DV) and non-domestic violence (non-DV) assault rates.
Results: The concentration of hotel licences in an LGA, particularly at higher density levels, was strongly predictive of both DV and non-DV assault rates. A similar, but slightly weaker, association was found for the concentration of packaged licences and DV and non-DV assault rates. On-premises concentrations also predicted DV and non-DV assault rates at the LGA level but, unlike hotel concentration effects, in this case there was no evidence of stronger effects at higher density levels. A significant relationship between DV assault rates and the concentration of clubs was also found, but the association between the concentration of clubs and the non-DV assault rate was not as strong.
Conclusion: Regulatory authorities should be concerned about increases in liquor outlet density. In particular, increases in the density of hotels above 2 per 1,000 residents are of greater concern than increases in the density of premises with other types of liquor licence