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​The effect of lockout and last drinks laws on non-domestic assaults in Sydney: an update to September 2016

6 Mar 2017

Aims: To assess the longer-term effects of the 2014 NSW liquor law reforms on levels of violence in the inner Sydney area.

Method: Interrupted time series models were used to examine the effects of the legislative reforms introduced in January 2014. Police recorded non-domestic assaults were analysed over the period January 2009 and September 2016. Separate analyses were carried out for the Kings Cross Precinct (KXP); the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct (CBD); an area contiguous with KXP and CBD called the proximal displacement area (PDA); a group of entertainment areas not far from KXP and CBD called the distal displacement area (DDA) and the rest of NSW.

Results: Following the reforms statistically significant reductions in non-domestic assault incidents occurred in both the Kings Cross (down 49%) and CBD Entertainment Precincts (down 13%). There was evidence of geographical displacement to surrounding areas with increases in non-domestic assault observed in both the PDA (up 12%) and the DDA (up 17%). The reduction in the combined Kings Cross and CBD Precincts (930 fewer non-domestic assaults) was much greater than the increase in the combined proximal and displacement areas (299 more non-domestic assaults).

Conclusion: Restrictions on the availability of alcohol appear to have reduced non-domestic assault in the target Precincts. Continued research is needed to monitor if displacement of these assaults increases further.

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