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Temporal distribution of crime in Victorian night-time entertainment precincts

Alcohol Crime Night time economy Nightclubs Victoria

Abstract: There is an established relationship between crime and areas with a high density of licensed premises (night-time entertainment [NTE] precincts). Various initiatives have been implemented with the aim of reducing harms that arise as a result of alcohol consumption in NTE precincts. Measuring the effectiveness of these initiatives is complicated, in part because of difficulties associated with identifying the number of incidents that are alcohol-related. As a result, surrogate measures of incidents likely related to alcohol are often used to measure patterns in alcohol-related incidents over time. This study sought to determine whether the temporal distribution of crimes occurring in NTE precincts could be used to refine a commonly used surrogate measure, high-alcohol hours. The analysis identified that 54% of assault, sexual, disorderly and offensive conduct and property damage offences in NTE precincts occur between 9pm and 6am on Friday and Saturday nights, and that these periods continue to represent high-alcohol hours. However, there were some differences in the temporal distribution of crime across individual precincts. It is recommended, therefore, that evaluation of specific initiatives incorporate high-alcohol hours relevant to the precincts in which these initiatives are trialled.

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