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Policing Licensed Premises in the Australian Capital Territory

NCJ Number
Lance Smith; Anthony Morgan; Amanda McAtamney
Date Published
85 pages
This report presents findings from an evaluation of the operation and effectiveness of policing strategies intended to reduce and prevent alcohol-related violence in licensed premises and entertainment precincts in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
There were a number of findings regarding the short-term impact of ACT police strategies in dealing with alcohol-related violence in premises licensed to sell liquor. Interviews with licensees suggested that there was little perceived risk associated with failing to comply with liquor-licensing regulations, particularly those related to serving alcohol to intoxicated patrons; the consequences of noncompliance were insufficient to deter future violations. Almost all licensees supported strong premises management practices, although evidence of good management practices was inconsistent and highlighted some of the barriers to strict management practices (such as refusing service to intoxicated and potentially aggressive patrons). There were indications that problematic drinking behavior remains at high levels. Both police and licensees supported placing some responsibility on individual patrons of licensed liquor establishments, so as to ensure that individuals are held accountable for their own behavior. Recommendations pertain to the adoption of a clear, long-term strategy for addressing alcohol-related crime and antisocial behavior; more rigorous enforcement of liquor licensing legislation; intelligence-led policing of licensed premises; monitoring alcohol-related problems and the response and impact of policing; ongoing training of police in liquor licensing legislation; working with licensees, managers, and their security personnel; alcohol counseling and treatment; strategies for reducing the consumption of alcohol; and further research and evaluation. 6 tables, approximately 60 references, and appended interview questions, observational research guidelines, performance indicators for policing licensed premises, and a place-of-last-drink form