Alcohol is a
catalyst for crime
On top of the cost to our community well-being, the total costs of alcohol-related crime in Australia exceed $1.7 billion. This does not include the social cost, which is estimated to exceed $187 million, and the costs associated with alcohol-related violent crime, which amounts to over $120 million (Collins & Lapsley 2007).
Research shows that the consumption of alcohol stimulates violence (Graham & Homel 2008). In fact, Australian research estimates that anywhere from 23 to as much as 73 per cent of all assaults involve alcohol (Briscoe & Donnelly 2001a; Doherty & Roche 2003; Poynton et al 2005).
In one NSW study, two-thirds of patients presented at an emergency department with injuries from interpersonal violence reported having consumed alcohol prior to the incident and three-quarters reported that they had been drinking at a licensed premises (Poynton et al 2005).
of all homicides are alcohol-related
of homicides involving indigenous people are alcohol-related
Research which used the AIC’s National Homicide Monitoring Program’s database found that homicides in recreational settings are more likely to involve alcohol, although the incidents that occur in residential locations or on the street account for a greater proportion (Dearden & Payne 2009).
Another study found that alcohol is most frequently associated with those deaths involving physical altercations, blunt force injuries, and stab wounds (Carcach & Conroy 2001; Darke & Duflou 2008; Dearden & Payne 2009).
Research estimates that around 10% of police time is dedicated to responding to alcohol-related incidents, of which the most common is assaults (Donnelly et al 2007). On average, dealing with assaults takes more than two hours. This places a significant burden on police resources (Donnelly et al 2007).
It is estimated that the annual cost of policing across Australia that is attributable to alcohol is over $747 million (Collins & Lapsley 2007).