Author Melissa Burgess and Steve Moffatt
Published January 2011
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 147
Subject Alcohol; Assault; Lockouts / Night-time economy
Keywords GIS, assault, alcohol outlet density, alcohol-related violence, licensed premises, liquor outlets

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To estimate the proportion of assaults occurring on or around licensed premises, determine whether assaults are more likely to happen around licensed premises than elsewhere and estimate the effect of additional alcohol outlets (outlet density) on the incidence of assault.


Clusters of licensed premises in the Sydney Local Government Area (LGA) were identified. The proportion of recorded assault incidents within 20, 50, 100 and 200 metre buffer zones around the licensed premises was calculated and compared with the proportion of land area covered by the buffer. The incidence of recorded assaults as a function of increasing counts of alcohol outlets was also examined.


Assaults were found to be highly concentrated around licensed premises. Assaults tend to cluster around George Street in the central business district (CBD), Darlinghurst Road in Kings Cross, Oxford Street in Darlinghurst, King Street in Newtown and Glebe Point Road in Glebe. The highest concentrations of assault are in Kings Cross, Oxford Street in Darlinghurst and along George Street in the CBD. More than half of the assaults recorded by police in the Sydney CBD occur within 50 metres of a liquor outlet. Only 3 per cent of the Sydney LGA is within 20 metres of a liquor outlet, yet 37 per cent of assaults in Sydney LGA occurred in this space. The results suggest that each additional alcohol outlet per hectare in the Sydney LGA will result, on average, in 4.5 additional assaults per annum.


Limiting the density of alcohol outlets may help limit the incidence of assault.

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