Testing the impact of local alcohol licencing policies on reported crime rates in England

de Vocht, Frank, Heron, Jon, Campbell, Rhona, Egan, Matthew, Mooney, John, Angus, Colin, Brenan, Alan and Hickman, Mathew (2016) Testing the impact of local alcohol licencing policies on reported crime rates in England. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 71 (2). pp. 137-145. ISSN 0143-005X

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ABSTRACT: Background Excessive alcohol use contributes to
public nuisance, antisocial behaviour, and domestic,
interpersonal and sexual violence. We test whether
licencing policies aimed at restricting its spatial and/or temporal availability, including cumulative impact zones, are associated with reductions in alcohol-related crime.
Methods: Reported crimes at English lower tier local
authority (LTLA) level were used to calculate the rates of reported crimes including alcohol-attributable rates of sexual offences and violence against a person, and
public order offences. Financial fraud was included as a
control crime not directly associated with alcohol abuse.
Each area was classified as to its cumulative licensing
policy intensity for 2009–2015 and categorised as
‘passive’, low, medium or high. Crime rates adjusted for
area deprivation, outlet density, alcohol-related hospital admissions and population size at baseline were
analysed using hierarchical (log-rate) growth modelling.
Results: 284 of 326 LTLAs could be linked and had
complete data. From 2009 to 2013 alcohol-related
violent and sexual crimes and public order offences rates
declined faster in areas with more ‘intense’ policies
(about 1.2, 0.10 and 1.7 per 1000 people compared
with 0.6, 0.01 and 1.0 per 1000 people in ‘passive’
areas, respectively). Post-2013, the recorded rates
increased again. No trends were observed for
financial fraud.
Conclusions: Local areas in England with more intense
alcohol licensing policies had a stronger decline in rates of violent crimes, sexual crimes and public order offences in the period up to 2013 of the order of 4–6% greater compared with areas where these policies were not in place, but not thereafter.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Sciences > Health Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Applied Sciences > Department of Pharmacy Health and Wellbeing
Depositing User: John Mooney
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2017 09:20
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2017 17:26
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/7011

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