A new study has found that an extension to trading hours for takeaway alcohol sales and home-delivered alcohol in NSW was associated with a small but statistically significant increase in domestic violence assaults.
In December 2016 the NSW Government permitted bottle shops and alcohol home delivery services across the State to trade until 11pm, an hour later than was previously allowed. In the case of bottle shops, this change reversed a state-wide ban on takeaway alcohol sales after 10pm which had been introduced with the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD lockout laws in 2014.
A new study by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) assessed the impact of the 2016 trading hours extension on domestic and non-domestic assaults recorded by police.
The study found that in the 38-months after the policy commenced, the rate of domestic assault increased by 0.4% per month in NSW. This translates to an additional 1,120 DV assault incidents over three years.
Increase in DV assaults
The increase in DV assaults was more pronounced after 10pm lending support to the proposition that the rise was due to the policy change.
No significant change was found in non-domestic assaults.
Commenting on the findings, Jackie Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, said that this study is important for two reasons. ‘Firstly, it adds to our limited knowledge about what might work to reduce domestic violence. Secondly, it fills a significant research gap.
‘Many studies have shown that longer trading hours for pubs and nightclubs increases alcohol consumption and related harms. However, few studies have examined violence associated with increased trading hours for packaged liquor outlets.’