Excessive drinking can contribute to social problems. These include the disruption of public order, violence, and sexual crimes. Can local alcohol licensing policies reduce alcohol-related crimes?
Researchers studied the impact of local licensing restrictions on the spatial and/or temporal availability of alcohol in England. They categorized each local area according to its licensing policy intensity. The categories for alcohol licensing policies were “passive,” low, medium and high.
The investigators then calculated the rates of reported crimes in each area. These included sexual crimes, violence against a person, and public order crimes attributable to alcohol. The rate of financial fraud was a control crime not attributable to alcohol.
The rate of alcohol-related crimes dropped faster for four years in the areas with more intense policies. However, such crimes then increased. So there was no long-term difference in alcohol-related crimes and licensing policies. And there was no change in the the rate of financial fraud over time. It was the non-alcohol-related control variable
There was no overall impact of the strength of local alcohol licensing policies on alcohol-related crimes in England.
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