1.30am lockouts haven’t reduced violence in Kings Cross

Sydney’s lockout laws haven’t reduced violence in Kings Cross between the 1.30am lockout time and the 3am last drinks time, the Daily Telegraph writes.

Two and a half years after the paper launched a campaign to end “alcohol-fuelled carnage” and pushed heavily for the introduction of Sydney’s lockout laws, the Daily Telegraph is now reporting that the Kings Cross lockout time “could be pushed back after the government review of the ­regime in August.”

The paper quotes the most recent data by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), released earlier this year, which looked at the number of assaults in Kings Cross, the Sydney CBD and the “displacement” areas of Newtown and Pyrmont, before and after lockouts started in February 2014.

The data showed that assaults in Kings Cross remained stable between 1.30am and 3am, while there was a significant drop after last drinks at 3am.

“Both of them (lockouts and early closing) worked for the CBD, only one worked for Kings Cross,” BOCSAR director Don Weatherburn told the Daily Telegraph. “The short story is Kings Cross got its principal benefit out of hours after 3am.”

The Daily Telegraph said the data could “[open] the way for possible changes to the controversial [lockouts] regime.” Check out the graph below for the full data.

Story continues below graph.

BOCSAR Data: Assault reduction after lockouts


Last week, Police Association of NSW (PANSW) president Scott Weber told the Daily Telegraph that NSW police are open to pushing back the lockout time for safe venues. “The Australian Hotels Association are talking about it (later lockout times),” Weber said. “We’re quite happy to have those conversations but it’s got to be on evidence. We’re willing to have a look.”

The Callinan review into Sydney’s lockout laws is due to hand its advice to government in August. Of the 1800 submissions published last month, many called for a measured reduction of the blanket laws – such as exemptions for safe, well run venues – to rescue Sydney’s dying nightlife. You can read a selection of the best over here.