Critics of Sydney’s controversial 1.30am lockout laws in the CBD and Kings Cross have long claimed that, rather than reducing alcohol-fuelled violence in lockout areas, the laws have simply displaced the violence elsewhere.
After transgender musician Stephanie McCarthy was assaulted at a Newtown venue earlier this year, local residents blamed the lockout laws for introducing a new and unwelcome violent element to the formerly peaceful nightlife spot.
A collective of Newtown venues also recently trialled their own, self-imposed 3am lockout, taking a stand against violent punters who head into areas like Newtown after lockouts come into effect and cause trouble.
A report from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) claimed that evidence of violence simply being displaced was not “statistically significant”. However, new findings from BOCSAR may tell a different story.
As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, on Friday the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research released data collated for a full year since the 1.30am lockout and 3am last drink laws were implemented.
Image via NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research
BOCSAR have unveiled two ‘hotspot’ maps, which illustrate a significant drop in violent assaults in the CBD and in Kings Cross following the implementation of lockouts, with a 26 percent and 32 percent drop respectively.
However, critics claim that the drop in violence is a result of less punters and activity in these areas in general, with more than a dozen Sydney venues inside the lockout zones shutting doors since lockouts came into place.
Interestingly, neighbouring suburbs like Surry Hills and Redfern have seen a spike in alcohol-related violence and the area of Pyrmont, near Sydney’s Star Casino, has become the city’s worst violence hotspot.
According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, hotspot maps are created by measuring the density of recorded criminal incidents per square metre. Unfortunately, Newtown was not included in their latest study.