Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

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The effect of Lockout laws on assault: latest data 

Release Date: 12:00 noon, Friday 9 August 2019

Full report - The effect of lockout and last drinks laws on non-domestic assaults in Sydney: An update to March 2019, 285Kb

The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has updated our evaluation of the Lockout laws on assaults in Sydney for an extended follow up period. 

Over the five years following the Lockout reforms we find non-domestic assaults decreased 53% in the Kings Cross precinct and decreased 4% in the CBD Entertainment precinct. 

Over the same period assaults increased in various displacement sites.  Non-domestic assaults rose 18% in a ring of suburbs neighbouring the Lockout zone. Among a group of four alternative nightspots accessible from the city (Newtown, Double Bay, Bondi Beach and Coogee) non-domestic assaults increased by 30%.

Despite this, BOCSAR estimates the reforms delivered an overall reduction in non-domestic assaults over 5 years, with an estimated net benefit of 395 fewer non-domestic assault incidents (1350 fewer assaults in the Lockout precincts versus 955 additional assaults in the displacement sites). 

Commenting on the findings, acting executive director of BOCSAR, Jackie Fitzgerald said that while the Lockout reforms have reduced assaults, their benefit is diminishing over time.  “The effect of the reforms in Kings Cross is still strong.  However the positive impact in the CBD has fallen over the longer term.”




Change in non-domestic assaults after the lockout laws: Jan 2009 to March 2019

% Change
​Volume change
​Kings Cross Precinct
​Down 52.8%
​1,021 fewer assaults
​Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct
​Down 4.0%​329 fewer assaults
​Proximal displacement area*​Up 18.4%
479 more assaults​
​Distal displacement area**​Up 30%476 more assaults​


* Locations bordering the lockout area: including parts of the following suburbs: Pyrmont (including the Star City Casino) , Ultimo, Chippendale, Haymarket, Surry Hills, Elizabeth Bay, Rushcutters Bay and Darlinghurst.

** Alternative entertainment areas which are close to the lockout areas: includes Bondi Beach, Coogee, Double Bay and Newtown.

Further enquiries: Jackie Fitzgerald  tel 02 8346 1100 mobile 0423139687
Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au