Close proximity to alcohol outlets is associated with increased serious violent crime in New Zealand
Article first published online: 7 FEB 2012
© 2012 The Authors. ANZJPH © 2012 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 36, Issue 1, pages 48–54, February 2012
How to Cite
Day, P., Breetzke, G., Kingham, S. and Campbell, M. (2012), Close proximity to alcohol outlets is associated with increased serious violent crime in New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 36: 48–54. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2012.00827.x
- Issue published online: 7 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 7 FEB 2012
- Submitted: May 2011 Revision requested: October 2011 Accepted: December 2011
- alcohol availability;
- Geographical Information Systems;
- New Zealand
Objective: To examine the association between geographic access to alcohol outlets and serious violent crime in New Zealand.
Methods: A national study of alcohol outlet access and serious violent crime used a cross-sectional ecological analysis. Serious violence offences recorded between 2005 and 2007 were aggregated for 286 police station areas. Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS), 9,320 licensed premises were geocoded and road travel distances to the closest alcohol outlet type/category were calculated for each area. Negative binomial regression models measured the association between the distance to the closest alcohol outlet and the number of serious violent offences in each police station area, controlling for area-level measures of social deprivation, Māori population, young males 15–29 years and population density.
Results: There were significant negative associations between distance (access) to licensed outlets and the incidence of serious violent offences with greater levels of violent offending recorded in areas with close access to any licensed premises compared to those areas with least access (IRR 1.5, 95% CI 1.10–2.03); with on-licensed premises (IRR 1.6, 95% CI 1.16–2.08); and off-licensed premises (IRR 1.4, 95% CI 1.05–1.93).
Conclusion: Having greater geographic access to alcohol outlets was associated with increased levels of serious violent offending across study areas.
Implications: Alcohol availability and access promoted under the current liberalised licensing regime are important contextual determinants of alcohol-related harm within New Zealand communities.