Alcohol availability and assault to inform NSW liquor license decisions
In a first for NSW, the liquor regulator has commissioned research to investigate and qualify the links between alcohol availability and domestic violence and assault over time.
The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s Chairperson, Mr Philip Crawford, said the findings will help inform licensing decisions and provide a reliable basis upon which to establish a threshold for liquor licence limits.
“This is the first longitudinal study of its kind in NSW and it will enhance liquor regulation so the community can live, work and play in safety and businesses can open an operate in an optimal environment,” said Mr Crawford.
“Better data will provide confidence for small businesses to apply for on-premises licences, such as cafes, restaurants and hotels, while supporting decisions around packaged licences.
“By examining the data available to us, we can better understand how the number of liquor licences can affect crime rates in a community.
“We’re looking to find the number of licensed venues and retailers that can trade in an area before criminal incidents dramatically increase.”
The Authority has contracted La Trobe University to conduct research on the association between the saturation of liquor outlets and criminal incidents across time in NSW.
La Trobe University public health researcher Dr Jason (Heng) Jiang said the project will run across eight months and look at licensing and crime data from as early as 2013 up until 2020.
“Our team has experience conducting similar research projects involving alcohol interventions,” Dr Jiang said.
“As part of the project we will analyse administrative datasets from Liquor & Gaming NSW, The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research and The Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“In addition to investigating associations between the saturation of outlets and criminal incidents, we will determine whether adding an outlet to an area of socio-economic disadvantage has more or less impact on harms than in more advantaged areas.”
The findings will be peer reviewed and provide intelligence to support applications for new licences and changes to existing liquor licences in NSW.
“With this empirical foundation the Authority will be able to make decisions that we hope will assist to reduce the incidence of domestic violence and alcohol-related assaults, ensuring transparent and informed decisions are applied to every liquor licence application,” Mr Crawford said.