New research commissioned and undertaken by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics has proved a causational link between high rates of domestic violence and the availability of liquor. New data suggests that high numbers of liquor stores in a geographic area will often lead to higher rates of inter-familial violence.
The new survey has shown a direct correlation between the number of hotels in a given area and nearby assaults being committed. According to the report, the findings should carry a greater obligation. “Overall, the results of this investigation confirm that there is a relationship between the concentration of licensed premises in a particular area and levels of assault, even after controlling for other covariates,” the report reads.
“Our work suggests that new hotel licences in areas where the concentration of hotels is already above two per 1,000 residents should be of particular concern to regulatory authorities.”
According to Dr. Don Weatherburn, the NSWBOCS director, the new findings should help law enforcement authorities figure out a more effective prevention strategy. “Up to this stage they haven’t had a threshold. They’ve often come to the bureau and said, well is there a threshold number? Is there some kind of point at which it becomes a big problem?” he explained to the ABC. “We haven’t known the answer to that question and now I think we’re starting to get and inkling of at what point you really need to think carefully about agreeing to handing out additional liquor licences.”
Dr. Weatherburn also went on to discuss the possible effects of having more than one hotel selling liquor in any local area. “You’ve got a bit of tipping point there once you pass the two mark for hotels,” he said. “That’s when your problems start to escalate. There are very few places in New South Wales that have more than that number. Most of them are located in country areas like Hay or Bourke or Harden or Bland, and these areas do have significant problems with alcohol-related violence.”
The conclusions will likely be analysed by local and regional law enforcement groups. In the end, the compelling and scientifically-sound social data may have an impact on all of our lives…
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