Trends in assaults after midnight

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Release date: 19 April, 2011, Embargo: 10.30am

The crackdown on violent pubs and clubs instigated after March 2008 has resulted in a large reduction in the number of assaults, not just on licensed premises but on other premises types as well, according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

The Bureau examined trends in assaults occurring between midnight and 5:00 a.m. between
1 January 2004 and 31 December 2010. Assaults on all premises types were examined.

The Bureau found that in the period between January 2004 and March 2008, assaults on all premises types were increasing by an average of 4.8 extra recorded assaults each month.

Since March 2008, this underlying upward trend was reversed by an average decline of 10.4 assaults each month.

The downward trend is significant in all premises types other than non-licensed business/ commercial premises.

Assaults on licensed premises have been falling at the rate of 2.4 per month since March 2008.

An underlying upward trend of 2.4 assaults per month was reversed in outdoor/public places by an average decline of 4.8 assaults per month since March 2008.

Commenting on the findings, the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that it was encouraging to see that the restrictions on violent pubs and clubs were having a positive spill-over effect on assaults in outdoor/public places.

'This is important because a big percentage of alcohol-related assaults occur within 20 metres of licensed premises.'

Dr Weatherburn also cautioned that the downward trend in assaults on licensed premises may now be slowing and that a continuation of current enforcement practices may be necessary if further reductions in alcohol-related assault are to be obtained.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 9231-9190, 0419-494-408