• Alcohol;
  • assaults;
  • licensed premises;
  • multi-component RBS programme;
  • RBS training;
  • violence



A multi-component Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) programme has been disseminated in Swedish municipalities. The aim of the programme is to reduce violence associated with consumption of alcohol at on-licensed premises. This study aimed to analyse the effect of the programme on police-recorded assaults after the dissemination of the programme in Swedish municipalities, 1996–2009.


This study is a natural experiment that uses variation in the level of implementation of the RBS programme to predict change in the rate of police-recorded assaults.


Swedish municipalities.


The municipalities included in the study initiated the RBS programme no later than 2008. On-licensed premises open during the evenings must exist. Of 290 municipalities, 237 fulfilled these requirements.


Programme fidelity was studied by means of several surveys. Yearly data on police-recorded assaults, per 100 000 inhabitants aged 15 and above, committed on weekend nights, were used as dependent variable. A fixed-effects panel data regression model was used to examine the effect of the programme.


Each extension of the programme, by one component, was associated with a significant 3.1% reduction in assaults. However, this effect was seen mainly in smaller municipalities. Of the different components of the programme, the presence of a community coalition steering group had a significant effect on assaults. No significant effect was found regarding RBS training or supervision of on-licensed premises.


Multi-component Responsible Beverage Service programmes can have a significant effect on police-recorded assaults even when implemented on a large scale in many communities.