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Sydney lockouts have led to more violence outside restricted zone

New figures show increases of between 10 and 20 per cent in neighbouring suburbs

  • 6 March 2017

There has been a significant boost in the amount of assaults in areas surrounding Sydney's lockout zone since the controversial laws were introduced.

New figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) show displacement of violence since the 1.30am lockout and 3am last drinks laws were imposed on central Sydney and the Kings Cross precinct in February 2014.

The New South Wales State Government cited street violence as the reason the laws were being introduced back then.

Now, the Sydney Morning Herald reports BOCSAR said the data, from the first 32 months of the laws to September, "found evidence for geographical displacement of assaults to areas immediately adjacent to the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD areas" along with other nearby suburbs.

Assaults increased in those areas by a combined 299 after the laws took effect.

That's a 12 per cent increase in areas adjacent to the lockout zone, including the controversially exempt The Star casino and venues in Ultimo and Surry Hills, and a 17 per cent increase in nearby suburbs including Double Bay, Newtown and Bondi.

Assaults inside the lockout zone decreased by 930, represented in a 49 per cent drop in Kings Cross and a 13 per cent drop in the Sydney CBD.

Keep Sydney Open posted in response: "The lockouts have been found to displace assaults to neighbouring precincts, a phenomenon that is consistent with all the anecdotal evidence that has come in over the last three years. The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics director, Don Weatherburn, even says the effects of the laws have not yet fully played out.

"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."

The lockout and last drinks laws have been pushed back by half an hour this year.

Keep Sydney Open says such small extensions will do nothing to save the city's nightlife and support businesses.

Scott Carbines is Mixmag's Australian Digital Content Editor, follow him on Twitter

[Via: Sydney Morning Herald]

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