Research helping to reduce alcohol-related violence
An outstanding behavioural scientist from the University of Newcastle has received a Sax Institute's 2017 Research Action Award, which recognise researchers whose work has made a real-world difference to the public's health and wellbeing.
Professor Kypros Kypri examined the impact of the Newcastle ‘last-drinks’ restrictions on assaults in the CBD. The restrictions limited the opening hours of some licensed premises.
He found that these restrictions resulted in a large reduction in assaults compared to a similar locality where pubs remained open.
The findings of the Newcastle study helped support the continuation of restrictions despite intense and persistent pressure from the alcohol industry.
The findings were also important in the design and efforts to implement law changes in Sydney (2014) and Queensland (2016).
Professor Kypri says a “confluence of factors” played into the policy changes in each jurisdiction, but the research findings helped give policy makers the evidence that changes were effective.
“Research alone very rarely drives policy change, but it can facilitate reform,” he said.
“In this situation, it gave the politicians something to show that the changes they were introducing were likely to be effective," he added.
The Sax Institute is an independent Australian leader in helping decision makers find and make best use of research to solve real-world health and social problems.