New research from the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) has found violence does increase as the number of liquor licences increases in an area, but the biggest increase was domestic assaults rather than street-based.
“A common perception is that most alcohol-related violence happens in and around licensed premises, but the reality is that much of it goes on behind closed doors either following a night out at the pub or after drinking takeaways at home,” researcher Dr Tanya Chikritzhs said.
The report published last month, Predicting alcohol-related harms from licensed outlet density, outlined a national model of covering assaults, hospitalisations, deaths and road crashes.
Chikritzhs said the initial Western Australian results showed the decision of liquor licensing authorities had significant impact on the health and safety of communities.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s ideas conference will consider these results in plans to tackle the binge drinking culture.
“There are far too many outlets,” Rudd told reporters last week.
“Closing times need to be adjusted. The way we serve alcohol in a responsible way, the codes for serving alcohol, need to be tightened.”
Several City of Sydney councillors, including Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Chris Harris and Shayne Mallard, have expressed concern at the saturation of licensed premises in the Darlinghurst and Kings Cross areas.
Last year the NDRI reported NSW Police spent $13 million per year in wages and 7.5 percent of all time worked dealing with alcohol-related activity in the inner metropolitan region alone.
A report by the Same-Sex Domestic Violence interagency last year recommended awareness campaigns and training for specialist services.
More than two-thirds of men who had experienced domestic violence did not report or seek assistance.