NSW Premier Mike Baird managed to tick off everyone in the country yesterday when he issued an incredibly condescending post about the supposed success of his state’s controversial late-night lockout laws.

Now, the director of the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has come out and said that Baird’s post was, in addition to being infuriatingly patronising, spruiking entirely faulty data.

As ABC News reports, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics director Don Weatherburn says assaults in Sydney have not decreased by as much as the Premier claimed and that violence was already in decline before the lockouts.

In his Facebook post, Baird claimed alcohol-related violence had dropped by 60 percent in Kings Cross and 42.2 percent in Sydney’s CBD since the lockouts were introduced. But as Weatherburn told ABC Radio, it’s more like 40 percent in the Cross and 20 percent in the CBD.

So was Baird simply lying? Not quite. Dr Weatherburn thinks the Premier was comparing assault rates just before the lockouts and immediately after and not taking into account the general downward trend that had already begun.

“The problem with that is assaults have been coming down in NSW since 2008, so you had this pre-existing downward trend,” Dr Weatherburn said. “What the lockout laws did was accelerate the existing downward trend, so it fell even faster than before.”

Let’s start with a statistic about Sydney’s nightlife that matters: alcohol related assaults have decreased by 42.2 per…

Posted by Mike Baird onMonday, February 8, 2016

“The people that used to go to Kings Cross at one or three o’clock in the morning have simply scattered to wherever they came from, and they’re not bumping into the people they would have had a fight with.”

“Kings Cross tended to attract people who liked to drink a lot and liked to fight when they drank. Now they don’t run into people like themselves as much.” Dr Weatherburn also refuted the claim that lockouts had pushed violence into other areas, like Newtown.

“We don’t see any evidence of that,” he said. “In the early part of the evaluation we saw a brief increase around Darling Harbour, near the casino.” However, there’s nothing suggesting violence in Newtown has exploded.

“People have talked endlessly of an increase of assaults in Newtown; we don’t see any evidence whatsoever of that. I have a suspicion that what people are getting confused about is the usual seasonal increase in violence in summer months.”

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“The numbers of domestic violence incidents have not changed, but you have to remember that only a third of incidents are reported to police.” According to Dr Weatherburn, there’s evidence of a “displacement effect” spurred by the lockouts.

Baird was comprehensively torn apart over his post, including by Sydney businessman Matt Barrie, author of a viral LinkedIn post in which he eviscerated the lockout laws for their devastating effect on Sydney.

Several Aussie musicians have also weighed in on the situation, including DJ and producer Alison Wonderland, who wrote on Facebook about her embarrassment at the fact that Sydney “has become a laughing stock internationally”.

“I miss the feeling of being able to discover music whilst exploring Sydney. That’s what made me fall in love with what I do. Sydney is now a ghost town,” she wrote.

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