Employee Development Co-ordinator, Contemporary Catering
In the past year the latest NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research findings from October 2013 to September 2014 have noted an encouraging 40% drop in alcohol-related assaults in licensed premises. This reduction is considerably higher than the 13.6% average annual fall over the past five years for alcohol-related assaults at licensed premises in the area.
The dramatic figures are as a direct result of the deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie who were struck with "one punch assaults" in separate incidents. Kelly was struck down in July 2012 and Christie last New Year's Eve. Following these incidents lockout laws were introduced which require premises to call last drinks at 3am and new patrons are not allowed to enter the premises after 1.30am.
The assault rates in other parts of the CBD and NSW generally are the lowest recorded since 2004. Kings Cross has recorded the most significant drop in total assaults at both licensed and outdoor premises.
"The publicity surrounding the deaths of the two boys in Kings Cross and the number of media reports about alcohol-related violence are probably factors," said Director of the Bureau of Crime Statistics Don Weatherburn. "The issue has received so much blanket coverage, there are a number of factors at play. Part of it's probably also that people are not going to Kings Cross (as much). That's what businesses are saying."
Since the lockout laws came into effect, a Fairfax Media report has found that pedestrian traffic has fallen 84% on Darlinghurst Road and local businesses are reporting revenue losses of up to 40%.