Research: Restricting pub closing times reduces assaults

Sep 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: Why plants in the office make us more productive

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Wealth link to alcohol crime

Sep 29, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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.

Study examines how women label abuse

Dec 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.

Recommended for you

Precarious work schedules common among younger workers

Aug 29, 2014

One wish many workers may have this Labor Day is for more control and predictability of their work schedules. A new report finds that unpredictability is widespread in many workers' schedules—one reason ...

Girls got game

Aug 29, 2014

Debi Taylor has worked in everything from construction development to IT, and is well and truly socialised into male-dominated workplaces. So when she found herself the only female in her game development ...

Computer games give a boost to English

Aug 28, 2014

If you want to make a mark in the world of computer games you had better have a good English vocabulary. It has now also been scientifically proven that someone who is good at computer games has a larger ...

Saddam Hussein—a sincere dictator?

Aug 28, 2014

Are political speeches manipulative and strategic? They could be – when politicians say one thing in public, and privately believe something else, political scientists say. Saddam Hussein's legacy of recording private discussions ...

User comments : 0