Alcohol shops in neighbourhood foster greater violenceFebruary 22nd, 2010 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Feb 22 (IANS) More alcohol shops in a neighbourhood fosters greater violence, says a new study.
The highest assault rates are associated with shops selling alcohol for off-premise consumption, (in a location other than where it is sold) adds the study by two Indiana University (IU) professors.
Using crime statistics and alcohol outlet licensing data from Cincinnati, Ohio, to examine the spatial relationship between alcohol outlet density and assault density.
William Alex Pridemore, criminal justice professor and Tony Grubesic, geography professor from IU, found that off-premise outlets appeared to be accountable for about one in four simple assaults and one in three aggravated assaults.
“A higher density of alcohol sales outlets in an area means closer proximity and easier availability to an intoxicating substance for residents,” Pridemore said. “Perhaps just as importantly, alcohol outlets provide a greater number of potentially deviant places.
“Convenience stores licensed to sell alcohol may be especially troublesome in this regard, as they often serve not only as sources of alcohol but also as local gathering places with little formal social control,” added Pridemore.
Researchers found that adding one off-premise alcohol sales site per square mile would create 2.3 more simple assaults and 0.6 more aggravated assaults per square mile, said an IU release.
Increases in violence associated with restaurants and bars were smaller but still statistically significant, with 1.15 more simple assaults created when adding one restaurant per square mile, and 1.35 more simple assaults per square mile by adding one bar.
“We could expect a reduction of about one-quarter in simple assaults and nearly one-third in aggravated assaults in our sample of Cincinnati block groups were alcohol outlets removed entirely,” Grubesic noted.
The findings were released as part of the Feb 18-22 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego, California.
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