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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Reducing alcohol-related violence and improving community safety: the Alcohol Linking Program Volume 18 Issue 5-6

John H. Wiggers

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 18(6) 83–85 Published online: 25 July 2007

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John H. Wiggers


Harm associated with the consumption of alcohol on licensed premises is an issue of increasing community concern. This paper reports on a decade-long research initiative that involved the development and implementation of police systems designed to enhance identification of, and police capacity to respond to, premises suggested to be associated with such harms. The outcomes of the Alcohol Linking Program demonstrate enhanced information regarding the occurrence and characteristics of alcohol-related incidents; there are more than 34000 such incidents each year in rural and regional NSW. Evaluation of the impact of an educational intervention demonstrated reductions of about 15% in the number of alcohol-related incidents linked with such premises. The Program has subsequently been adopted into routine practice on a system-wide basis by the NSW Police and New Zealand Police. Opportunities exist for public health practitioners to contribute to reducing alcohol-related harm in the community through the development of equivalent surveillance systems in emergency departments, monitoring licencee compliance with the , and through injury prevention, health promotion and drug and alcohol practitioners enhancing the capacity of licencees to serve alcohol responsibly.