Sydney assault rates drop irrespective of 'blanket' lockout measures

03 June, 2014

Assault rates in licensed premises in the Sydney local government area have dropped more than 15 per cent in the 24 months to March 2014, according to figures released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).

The BOCSAR figures also reveal assault rates in licensed venues in Kings Cross had dropped more than 30 per cent in the same two-year period, while state-wide there was a drop of 5.6 per cent.

Australian Hotels Association NSW Director of Policing John Green said the figures pre-date the lockouts, last drinks and other restrictions introduced by the government earlier this year.

"These figures back up what we have been saying for some time - that assault rates in licensed premises are actually dropping despite the anecdotal claims of various interest groups," Green said.

"Hoteliers in the Sydney area - indeed right across NSW - have been working hard with police and their local communities to improve safety at venues for years - we are seeing the results in this latest round of independent figures.

"Unfortunately, the work of the venues never seems to be acknowledged, with more and more blanket measures imposed on all venues instead of targeting the rogue operators.

"Assault rates in and around licensed venues are at their lowest levels since the 1990s and we need to see some acknowledgement of that fact."

Meanwhile The Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR) has released the latest list of the state's most violent venues which will consequently be facing a range of tough operation conditions.

Round 11 of the violent venues list, based on Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) data for 2013, names 23 venues for excessive numbers of violent incidents.

There are three Level 1 venues on the latest list after recording 19 or more violent incidents last year. They are Ivy in the Sydney CBD (24 incidents), The Macarthur Tavern at Campbelltown (24 incidents), and the Roxy Hotel at Parramatta (21 incidents).

These three venues will face the toughest operating conditions from June 1 including a 1.30am lockout, drink restrictions, bans on glass, alcohol time-outs, and extra security measures.

Another 20 venues across the State have recorded between 12 and 18 incidents to be classified as Level 2 violent premises and will also face extra conditions.

Another 10 licensed venues have been removed from the list after recording welcome reductions in alcohol-related violence.