Background Licensed premises in entertainment precincts are associated with higher levels of alcohol-related harm. In 2008, additional licensing conditions were imposed on a number of hotels in the main entertainment precinct of Newcastle, NSW (Australia). These included reduced trading hours, lock-outs, drink restrictions and additional Responsible Service of Alcohol strategies.
Aims/Objectives/Purpose The aim of this study was to determine the impact of the conditions on night-time assaults, street offences and assault-related injury emergency department presentations 3 years post-intervention.
Methods Two separate analyses were undertaken:
1. Separate binomial regression analyses were undertaken to assess changes over time in police attended incidents (night-time non-domestic assaults and street offenses) in the study area and three comparison areas for 2001 to 2011.
2. A linear regression analysis with linear and quadratic trends was conducted to model changes over time in emergency department presentations (night-time assault related injury) in four hospitals located within 40 km of the main entertainment precinct for 2001 to 2011.
Results/Outcome In the 3 years following the implementation of additional licensing conditions in Newcastle, the study found a significant:
• 28% to 37% relative reduction in night-time non-domestic assaults relative to three comparison areas.
• 44% to 70% relative reduction in night-time street offences relative to three comparison areas.
• 26% reduction in night-time assault-related injury emergency department presentations.
Significance/Contribution to the Field The reduction in alcohol-related harm following the introduction of the conditions and the longevity of such improvements provide strong evidence for the imposition of such licensing conditions.
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