Research: Restricting pub closing times reduces assaults

September 16, 2010

A study published in the international scientific journal Addiction reveals that restrictions on pub closing times imposed in 2008 within the Australian city of Newcastle have reduced the assault rate by 37 per cent.

The study, conducted at the University of Newcastle, shows the number of assaults in the Central Business District (CBD) fell from 33 per month before the restrictions were put in place, to 22 afterwards.

The team of researchers, led by Associate Professor Kypros Kypri, compared the Newcastle CBD assault rates with those in the nearby suburb of Hamilton, where late trading venues were not subject to the restriction. The study took into account long term trends in assault rates as well as certain reporting biases.

"It is a common belief that restricting closing times just shifts the problem to a neighbouring area or to an earlier time. We tested this displacement hypothesis and found no such effect. Further, we found evidence of reduced assaults before the 3.30am closing as well," A/Professor Kypri said.

In 2008, due to the high rates of alcohol-related violence and social disorder occurring in Newcastle CBD, the NSW Liquor Administration Board (since abolished) imposed restrictions on 14 CBD venues. Pubs and clubs were required to close at 3.30am and to implement a 1.30am lockout to prevent more patrons from entering the venue.

Governments throughout Australia have so far resisted introducing earlier closing times. "One has to wonder what sort of reduction in harm would occur if licensed premises across Australia were to cease serving alcohol at 2am, as is required, for instance, everywhere in California, and how many serious injuries could be prevented," A/Professor Kypri said.

Explore further: Study examines how women label abuse

Related Stories

Study examines how women label abuse

December 12, 2007

U.S. social scientists have found women assaulted by those known to them are less likely to label the experience as abusive violence.

Wealth link to alcohol crime

September 29, 2009

( -- Rich rural towns show higher levels of alcohol-related crime than poorer communities, according to new research from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre.

Recommended for you

Mexican site yields new details of sacrifice of Spaniards

October 9, 2015

Excavations at the site of one of the Spanish conquistadors' worst defeats in Mexico are yielding new evidence about what happened when the two cultures clashed—and a native people, at least temporarily, was in control.

Ancient genome from Africa sequenced for the first time

October 8, 2015

The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected ...

Rare braincase provides insight into dinosaur brain

October 8, 2015

Experts have described one of the most complete sauropod dinosaur braincases ever found in Europe. The find could help scientists uncover some of the mysteries of how dinosaur brains operated, including their intellectual ...

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.