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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

Item Type: Article


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
ones, 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.

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Depositing User: John Mooney


Item ID: 7011
Identification Number:
ISSN: 0143-005X
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ORCID for John Mooney: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2017 09:20
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:40


Author: John Mooney ORCID iD
Author: Frank de Vocht
Author: Jon Heron
Author: Rhona Campbell
Author: Matthew Egan
Author: Colin Angus
Author: Alan Brenan
Author: Mathew Hickman

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Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Nursing and Health Sciences


Sciences > Health Sciences

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