NewsWritten by Tom Williams on March 6, 2017
A new study by the New South Wales Government has found that assaults are increasing in the suburbs surrounding Sydney’s lockout zone.
The study, by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), has found that the while assaults in the Kings Cross and CBD lockout areas are down, assaults in surrounding suburbs have increased, including in Ultimo, Surry Hills and at The Star casino in Pyrmont.
Assaults have also increased in four other lockout-free nightspots in Newtown, Coogee, Bondi and Double Bay.
The BOCSAR study looked at the 61 months before and 32 months after Sydney’s controversial lockout laws came into effect in February 2014.
It found that assaults in Kings Cross and the CBD are down 49 per cent and 123 per cent respectively, while assaults in surrounding suburbs have increased by 12 per cent, with assaults in those four lockout-free nightspots up 17 per cent.
While there’s been an increase in non-domestic assaults outside of Sydney’s lockout zones, BOCSAR says the reduction in assaults in the lockout zones has been greater than the increase in assaults in nearby areas.
BOCSAR Director Dr Don Weatherburn says the results of the new study suggest that the effects of the lockout laws haven’t fully played out yet.
“It remains the case, however, that the decline in assaults in Kings Cross and the Sydney CBD is still much larger than the increase in assaults in the displacement areas,” he says.
The study also found that in the rest of NSW, assaults have continued to decline since the lockouts were introduced, but at a slower pace than what they previously did.
In response to the study, the Keep Sydney Open movement has said in a statement, “Melbourne dropped them, and Queensland aborted their plan to introduce lockouts. That leaves Sydney’s nightlife as the laughing stock of the nation, and indeed the world. It’s time to rethink these terrible laws.”
To read the full BOCSAR study, head to the BOCSAR website.
Sydney’s lockout laws were relaxed by half an hour earlier this year, as part of a two-year trial. A number of venues inside the lockout zone have since been granted exemptions from the lockouts.
Gallery: The Best Signs From The Keep Sydney Open Rally (October 2016)