Research released on 21 April by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has found a comparatively small increase in the number of non-domestic assaults recorded by the NSW police at The Star casino following the introduction of the ‘lockout’ and ‘last drinks laws’.

BOCSAR analysed trends in recorded incidents of non-domestic assault in The Star casino precinct (see purple boxed area on accompanying map) from January 2009 to December 2015. The map does not include assaults that were recorded by police as having occurred in Pyrmont by police where the precise location is not known.

In absolute terms, the increase in the number of non-domestic assaults in The Star casino precinct was fairly small; slightly less than two additional assaults per month.

BOCSAR also carried out a detailed examination of all non-domestic assaults recorded by police as having occurred in Pyrmont in 2015.

Seventy-six, or 49 percent, of the non-domestic assaults that occurred in Pyrmont took place in The Star casino precinct. This includes assaults occurring in the casino, at one of the entrances to the casino and at the casino taxi rank.

In the majority (71 percent) of these incidents the victim of the assault was a patron at the casino but more than one in 10 (15 percent) were taxi drivers. In 30 percent of casino incidents the assault occurred while the offender was being evicted from the premises or after he or she had been evicted.

Commenting on the findings, the director of BOCSAR, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that the increase in assaults at The Star casino is very small, compared with the reduction in assaults found in the Kings Cross and CBD entertainment precincts following the reforms.

In the Kings Cross Entertainment Precinct there were 13 fewer assaults per month in 2014 than in 2013. In the Sydney Entertainment Precinct there were 30 fewer assaults per month in 2014 than in 2013.

The research comes as the Callinan Review assesses submissions from industry bodies and others, many of which have questioned the effectiveness of the government’s lockout laws.

Some reports have suggested falling assault rates are linked to declining foot traffic as a result of the laws.

Callinan will provide a review report to the NSW government for consideration in August 2016.

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