A new report on the so-called “lockout laws” which restrict alcohol sales in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross precincts show that assaults have fallen in the target areas, but have increased in surrounding suburbs.
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) report covers the 61 months before and 32 months since the lockout laws came into effect in February 2014.
It shows that there has been a 48.7% fall in non-domestic assault in the Kings Cross precinct and 12.6% fall in the Sydney CBD since the laws were introduced.
However, in a ring of suburbs bordering those precincts (labelled the proximal displacement areas or PDA), non-domestic assaults initially declined, but have since increased by 11.8%.
Non-domestic assaults also increased by 16.7% in a group of four popular nightspots within easy reach of Kings Cross and Sydney CBD entertainment precincts: Newtown, Coogee, Bondi and Double Bay.
In the rest of NSW, non-domestic assaults continued to decline following the introduction of the lockout laws, but at a slower pace.
BOSCAR Director Dr Don Weatherburn said the full effects of the laws had not yet “played out”, but the decline in assaults in the target areas (Sydney CBD and Kings Cross) was still much larger than the increase in assaults in the displacement areas.