Govt Report Says Violence Has Bumped Up In Areas Near Syd Lockout Zone

A new report has shown that the implementation of Sydney‘s lockout laws have coincided with a rise in assaults in the areas surrounding Kings Cross and the CBD, something which many punters have anecdotally described.

The report from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) – which will be released in full today – is the first time a statistically significant increase in violence has been noted in areas next to the so-called lockout zone. The fact that surrounding precincts have played host to more antisocial behaviour has been a key allegation of anti-lockouts campaigners like Keep Sydney Open.
The suburbs included in the uptick of violence are Ultimo, Surry Hills, Pyrmont – including The Star casino – along with Bondi Beach, Coogee, Double Bay and Newtown. The report indicates a 12 percent increase in assaults in areas adjacent to the lockout zone. 
It is worth noting that the drop in violence inside the lockout zone is still greater than the increase in the surrounding areas, though BOCSAR says it “cannot be assumed” that reduction will be maintained over the long term. The report stresses that the lockouts have overall reduced violence:

While this suggests there has been a shift in violence away from the target sites to the surrounding areas, it should be remembered that the reductions in assault in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD far outweigh the observed increases in the displacement sites; supporting the conclusion that, overall, there was a net reduction in violence during the 32-month post-reform period,
Of course, opposition hasn’t just been about the relative distribution of violence. There’s also the devastation of the city’s nightlife and music scenes to contend with. We’re currently in the midst of the ‘trial’ relaxation of lockout laws – and perhaps this report will indicate that the benefits are anything but concrete.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald / BOCSAR.
Photo: Getty Images.