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Correlation between closing times and violent crime rates?

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Postby TechJunkie on 03 Aug 2017 15:54

Correlation between closing times and violent crime rates?

This morning I saw a Facebook post from Coach insisting that there is no hard evidence of a link between nightlife closing times and violent crime. So this is a fact check.

From the peer-reviewed journal Addiction, from the Society for the Study of Addiction:

The impact of small changes in bar closing hours on violence. The Norwegian experience from 18 cities

Abstract

Aims

To estimate the effect on violence of small changes in closing hours for on-premise alcohol sales, and to assess whether a possible effect is symmetrical.

Design, setting, and participants

A quasi-experimental design drawing on data from 18 Norwegian cities that have changed (extended or restricted) the closing hours for on-premise alcohol sales. All changes were ≤ 2 hours.

Measurements

Closing hours were measured in terms of the latest permitted hour of on-premise trading, ranging from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. The outcome measure comprised police-reported assaults that occurred in the city centre between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. at weekends. Assaults outside the city centre during the same time window should not be affected by changes in closing hours but function as a proxy for potential confounders, and was thus included as a control variable. The data spanned the period Q1 2000–Q3 2010, yielding 774 observations.

Findings

Outcomes from main analyses suggested that each 1-hour extension of closing hours was associated with a statistically significant increase of 4.8 assaults (95% CI 2.60, 6.99) per 100 000 inhabitants per quarter (i.e. an increase of about 16%). Findings indicate that the effect is symmetrical. These findings were consistent across three different modelling techniques.

Conclusion

In Norway, each additional 1-hour extension to the opening times of premises selling alcohol is associated with a 16% increase in violent crime.


From the American Journal of Public Health, a peer-reviewed journal from the American Public Health Association:

The Effect of Restricting Opening Hours on Alcohol-Related Violence

Abstract

Objective

We investigated whether limiting the hours of alcoholic beverage sales in bars had an effect on homicides and violence against women in the Brazilian city of Diadema. The policy to restrict alcohol sales was introduced in July 2002 and prohibited on-premises alcohol sales after 11 pm.

Methods

We analyzed data on homicides (1995 to 2005) and violence against women (2000 to 2005) from the Diadema (population 360 000) police archives using log-linear regression analyses.

Results

The new restriction on drinking hours led to a decrease of almost 9 murders a month. Assaults against women also decreased, but this effect was not significant in models in which we controlled for underlying trends.

Conclusions

Introducing restrictions on opening hours resulted in a significant decrease in murders, which confirmed what we know from the literature: restricting access to alcohol can reduce alcohol-related problems. Our results give no support to the converse view, that increasing availability will somehow reduce problems.


Also from the journal Addiction:

Effects of restricting pub closing times on night-time assaults in an Australian city.

Abstract

Aims

In March 2008 the New South Wales judiciary restricted pub closing times to 3 a.m., and later 3.30 a.m., in the central business district (CBD) of Newcastle, Australia. We sought to determine whether the restriction reduced the incidence of assault.

Design

Non-equivalent control group design with before and after observations.

Setting

Newcastle, a city of 530,000 people.

Participants

People apprehended for assault in the CBD and nearby Hamilton, an area with a similar night-time economy but where no restriction was imposed.

Measurements

Police-recorded assaults in the CBD before and after the restriction were compared with those in Hamilton. Cases were assaults occurring from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. from January 2001-March 2008, with April 2008-September 2009 as the post-restriction period. We also examined changes in assault incidence by time of night. Negative binomial regression with time, area, time × area interaction terms and terms for secular trend and seasonal effects was used to analyse the data. Autocorrelation was examined using generalized estimating equations.

Findings

In the CBD, recorded assaults fell from 99.0 per quarter before the restriction to 67.7 per quarter afterward [incidence rate ratio (IRR): 0.66, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.55-0.80]. In the same periods in Hamilton, assault rates were 23.4 and 25.5 per quarter, respectively (IRR: 1.02, 95% CI: 0.79-1.31). The relative reduction attributable to the intervention was 37% (IRR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.47-0.81) and approximately 33 assault incidents were prevented per quarter.

Conclusion

This study indicates that a restriction in pub closing times to 3/3.30 a.m. in Newcastle, NSW, produced a large relative reduction in assault incidence of 37% in comparison to a control locality.
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Postby benm3 on 05 Aug 2017 15:30

Re: Correlation between closing times and violent crime rate

Did the same overall number of people go out with the 3AM closing times?

If fewer people ended up going out in the first place, then it would be pretty much impossible for the percentage of assault incidents to do anything but go down.

Here's one that would be a guarantee too:

"By issuing a curfew on allowing civilians to operate motor vehicles after 7pm, we reduced drunk driving fatalities by 98%"

These kind of seem like useless statistics to me that will be abused by those who are trying to make the ends justify the means.
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Postby TechJunkie on 06 Aug 2017 19:59

Re: Correlation between closing times and violent crime rate

They're not "useless statistics" if the number of assaults and fatalities drop, are they?
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Postby coach on 07 Aug 2017 18:41

Re: Correlation between closing times and violent crime rate

Interesting, that's the first I've seen any research showing a correlation. Thanks for finding those.

I guess we should bring back Prohibition, since it was research just like this that led to it in the first place.
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Postby Michael^Heaven on 08 Aug 2017 06:28

Re:

Not relating to violent crimes but when the 2am closing time went into effect in Gainesville, the 'stupid' rate shot through the roof with drunken shenanigans. :x
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Postby TechJunkie on 08 Aug 2017 07:52

Re: Correlation between closing times and violent crime rate

It's true. I was there at the time and going out a lot and I remember it well. There was a spike in stupidity at 2:30 AM when all of the bars and clubs had to kick a bunch of drunk people out all at once. For a while they had been allowed to stay open until 4:00 after a 2:00 last call but then when they were required to ctually close at last call things got really stupid. That spike still might not have represented an overall increase in stupidity though.

One of the studies that I came across was from Europe, about staggering out the closing times so that all of the drunks don't head home all at exactly the same time. That study had positive results. But in the US, it would be hard to enforce a system that doesn't treat all of the business the same.
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Postby coach on 15 Aug 2017 22:28

Re: Correlation between closing times and violent crime rate

Actually, we do that right here in Dade. Different areas, that aren't so far apart, have different closing times.

It's kind of immaterial at this point. All the big venues, as well as most of the small venues, are gone from South Beach. LIV is way up in mid-beach. Story is in South Pointe. There are maybe 3-5 smaller clubs more or less along the strip, KYI, Score, Dream, Do Not Sit. But, really, the number of drunk people stumbling out of clubs at 5:30am is WAY down. It seems pointless at this point to bother with it.
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