Media Release: Reporting of assaults to police by staff on licensed premises


Release date: Tuesday 25 November 2014, 10.30am
Full report - Reporting rates of assaults on licensed premises by licensed premises staff: 2012-2013 (pdf 320Kb)

There is no evidence licensed premises are systematically concealing assaults in a bid to avoid losing their liquor license or to avoid having restrictions imposed on their trading hours, according to new research by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

The Bureau searched through a random sample of 800 non-domestic assaults reported to police between 2012 and 2013; carefully categorising the types of individuals reporting an assault.

If the managers and staff of licensed premises had become less willing to report assaults, the proportion of assaults reported by them should have declined. 

Just over a quarter of the reported assaults came from staff or managers of licensed premises. This proportion did not change significantly over the eight quarters between January-March 2012 and October-December 2013.

The licensed premises with the strongest incentive to hide assaults are those with the most assaults. In light of this, the Bureau separately examined reporting of assaults in the top 100 licensed premises.

Once again, no significant change was found in the proportion of assaults emanating from staff/managers of these premises. The proportion of assaults reported by managers/staff of licensed premises varied from month to month but did not systematically decline. 

The two most common victims of assault on licensed premises are patrons (64%) and security guards (14.9%). Patrons account for the overwhelming majority (71.5%) of offenders.

Commenting on the findings, the director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn said that this was the third Bureau study conducted to see whether staff or managers of licensed premises have become less willing to report assaults to police. 

"None of the studies found any evidence that they had. The results of all three studies provided confirmation that the fall in assaults on licensed premises over the last five years is genuine and not the result of any manipulation of the assault figures by licensed premises."

Further queries: Dr Don Weatherburn. Ph.: 9231-9190
Copies of the report: