Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

Alcohol related violence​

1. Overview

Alcohol is significantly involved in violence in our community:

  • A third of non-domestic assaults are alcohol related
  • A third of domestic assaults are alcohol related

This table provides information on incidents of domestic assault, non-domestic assault, offensive conduct and offensive language recorded by the NSW Police by day of the week,  time of day and whether flagged as alcohol related by police.

 Data is available by:

  • NSW
  • Local Government Area
  • Suburb

Tables: Alcohol related violence (suburb or LGA excel file)

The following two graphs show the number of assault incidents recorded by the NSW Police by day of the week and time of day.

Day of the week

 

Overall, just under one-third of non-domestic assault incidents recorded by the NSW Police involve alcohol. This proportion varies considerably depending on the day of the week that assault occurs.

During the week (Monday to Thursday) approximately 20% of non-domestic assault incidents involve alcohol. This rises to more than one-third of incidents on Fridays (33.7%), then peaks at almost half of all assaults on the weekend (46.6%).


Time of day



Almost half of alcohol related non-domestic assault incidents recorded by the NSW Police occur at night between 6pm and midnight. A further 34% of incidents occur between midnight and 6am.

By comparison only one-quarter of non-alcohol related assaults occur between 6pm and midnight and only 7.5% between midnight and 6am. Nearly half of non-alcohol related assaults occur between midday and 6pm (44.4%).



2. The impact of 'lockout laws' on assault in Sydney

Background: On the 24 February 2014 the NSW Government imposed new restrictions (contained in the Liquor Amendment Act, 2014). These restrictions included:

  1. 1.30am lockouts at hotels, registered clubs, nightclubs and karaoke bars in two designated areas, known respectively as the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct and Kings Cross Precinct;
  2. 3.00am cessation of alcohol service in venues in these Precincts;
  3. A freeze on new liquor licences and approvals for existing licences across the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct and continuation of the existing freeze in the Kings Cross Precinct

Research findings

BOCSAR have investigated the impact of the lockout reforms in several peer reviewed studies (see full list below) all of which found a significant decline in assaults in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD Entertainment precincts corresponding to the implementation of the reforms. The most recent report (2019) examined the monthly count of non-domestic assaults recorded by the NSW Police Force from January 2009 to March 2019: a total of 123 months (61 months prior to lockout intervention and 62 months post the lockout intervention).

The study results are shown in the table below.  These percentages are the change in non-domestic assaults we attribute to the lockouts controlling for pre-existing trends .  

​Areas


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.

The full report "The effect of lockout and last drinks laws on non-domestic assaults in Sydney: An update to March 2019"