‘Hotspots’ for aggression in licensed drinking venues

Authors

  • KATHRYN GRAHAM,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, London, Canada
    2. Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    3. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
      Kathryn Graham PhD, Senior Scientist, Group Head, Professor (Adjunct), Associate Professor, Sharon Bernards MA, Research Coordinator, D. Wayne Osgood PhD, Professor, Samantha Wells PhD, Scientist, Assistant Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor. Dr Kathyrn Graham, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 100 Collip Circle, Suite 200, London, ON, Canada N6G 4X8. Tel: +1 519 858 5000 ext. 22002; Fax: +1 519 858 5199; E-mail: kgraham@uwo.ca
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  • SHARON BERNARDS,

    1. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, London, Canada
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  • D. WAYNE OSGOOD,

    1. Crime, Law, and Justice Program, Department of Sociology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA
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  • SAMANTHA WELLS

    1. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, London, Canada
    2. Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    3. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
    4. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
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Kathryn Graham PhD, Senior Scientist, Group Head, Professor (Adjunct), Associate Professor, Sharon Bernards MA, Research Coordinator, D. Wayne Osgood PhD, Professor, Samantha Wells PhD, Scientist, Assistant Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor. Dr Kathyrn Graham, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 100 Collip Circle, Suite 200, London, ON, Canada N6G 4X8. Tel: +1 519 858 5000 ext. 22002; Fax: +1 519 858 5199; E-mail: kgraham@uwo.ca

Abstract

Introduction and Aims. In order to better understand the social context of barroom aggression, the aim was to identify common locations (‘hotspots’) for aggression in bars and examine the association of hotspots with aggression severity and environmental characteristics.

Design and Methods. Aggression hotspots were identified using narrative descriptions and data recorded on premises' floor plans for 1057 incidents of aggression collected in the Safer Bars evaluation. Hierarchical Linear Modelling was used to identify bar-level and night-level characteristics associated with each hotspot.

Results. The most common location for aggression was the dance floor (20.0% of incidents) or near the dance floor (11.5%), followed by near the serving bar (15.7%), at tables (13.1%), aisles, hallways and other areas of movement (6.2%), entrance (4.5%) and the pool playing area (4.1%). Hotspots were predicted mainly by bar-level characteristics, with dance floor aggression associated with crowded bars, a high proportion of female and young patrons, lots of sexual activity, a large number of patrons and staff, security staff present, better monitoring and coordination by staff, and people hanging around at closing. Incidents at tables and pool tables tended to occur in bars with the opposite characteristics. Nightly variations in patron intoxication and rowdiness were associated with aggression at tables while variations in crowding and sexual activity were associated with aggression in areas of movement. Incidents outside tended to be more severe.

Discussion and Conclusions. Each aggression location and their associated environments have somewhat different implications for staff training, premises design, policy and prevention.[Graham K, Bernards S, Osgood DW, Wells S. ‘Hotspots’ for aggression in licensed drinking venues. Drug Alcohol Rev 2012;31:377–384]

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