U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Raising the Bar: Preventing Aggression in and Around Bars, Pubs and Clubs

NCJ Number
Kathryn Graham; Ross Homel
Date Published
316 pages
This book reviews existing knowledge about barroom environments in the United Kingdom, as well as their regulation, and offers guidance for preventing aggression, violence, and injury in and around public drinking establishments.
The book begins by explaining the importance of research into barroom violence, since alcohol and places where it is sold and consumed are linked with aggression and violence. The book argues, however, that this link is neither inevitable nor linear. The authors review some of the many theories that attempt to explain barroom violence and conclude that no single theory is sufficient to explain why aggression and violence are so prevalent in barrooms. The book then examines the factors that are predictive of barroom trouble. These include types of patrons (young, single males, or those from disadvantaged backgrounds); poor service, including irresponsible promotions of drinking; and environmental factors, such as higher levels of crowding and permissiveness for unruly behavior. Each of these mediating factors can be modified by barroom design and management. Suggestions are offered for safer barroom design and more responsible beverage service. Another consistent theme throughout the book is the issue of why disorderly behavior is so tolerated in barroom environments compared to other public arenas and retail establishments. The last chapters of the book outline ways of preventing or reducing violence in bars. The authors describe a range of violence/disorder reduction programs and risk-assessment strategies implemented throughout the English-speaking world as well as Sweden, including community-based approach and more general regulatory approaches, such as stricter or more liberal national licensing schemes. Each strategy examined is assessed for its mix of successes and shortcomings. 367 references and a subject index