The Australian Hotels Association and Police Crime Statistics         Release date: 13 April 2010Claims by the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) that the imposition of restrictions on licensed premises did not produce a fall in assault are completely wrong, according to the Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics."It is true that there was a spike in rejected assaults in the Newcastle Local Area Command in 2009."

However our evaluation covered the period April 2004 to March 2009. The spike in rejected assaults occurred in April and June 2009.

"In other words, the spike in rejected assaults in Newcastle occurred after our evaluation of the effect of those trading restrictions. Our evaluation of the Newcastle liquor license trading restrictions was not in any way affected by that spike."

"The AHA should know this because the issue was discussed in the report we released in November 2009 discussing the Newcastle restrictions". (Crime and Justice Bulletin 137, pp. 20-21:

"That report specifically examined the possibility that changes in police crime recording practices were responsible for the drop in recorded assaults. The possibility was rejected."

Furthermore, NSW Police rectified the problem of misclassified assaults before any figures on assault in Newcastle were publicly released.

At no stage, therefore, have the public been mislead by police about trends in assault in the Newcastle Local Area Command during the period 2008-2009.

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