Possible strategies for reducing alcohol-related assault: community-based methodology in Cairns, tropical North Queensland (Australia)

Pointing, Shane Boris, Hayes-Jonkers, Charmaine, and Clough, Alan (2013) Possible strategies for reducing alcohol-related assault: community-based methodology in Cairns, tropical North Queensland (Australia). In: Bletzer, Keith V., (ed.) Assaults: interventions, preventive strategies and societal implications. Nova Science Publishers, New York, NY, USA, pp. 185-198.

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Objective: To refine boundaries and characteristics of the late-night entertainment precinct in Cairns to facilitate refined measurement of alcohol-related assaults, assess stakeholder perceptions regarding interventions to reduce them and explore the contribution that this process can make to sustainable interventions.

Methods: 29 semi-structured interviews incorporating cognitive mapping techniques, 12 focus groups with key service providers, and community-action research methodology to elicit feedback on preliminary findings.

Results: The rate and severity of violence in the Cairns precinct has fallen over time; reducing alcohol availability would further reduce violence but have negative economic consequences. A generational culture of 'drinking to get drunk' exists. Community-level education programs addressing this are important. A majority of interventions identified by stakeholders were situational and environmental. Participants generally agreed on a defined precinct boundary, at the same time they highlighted unexpected violence 'hotspots'. Coordination and communication between relevant stakeholders is essential.

Conclusion: The precinct is viewed as a safe place by stakeholders and they expect to continue working together to reduce violence. The emphasis on stakeholder communication endorses current government programs to address alcohol-related violence. Independent community-action research facilitates information transfer and is a key strategy to coordinate data collection, and in implementing and monitoring coordinated interventions.

Implications: This study supports the importance to stakeholders of defined precincts for enhanced data collection to measure alcohol-related assaults, and previous studies indicate the importance of research as an independent driver to reducing this sort of violence. The methodology is a foundational stage of establishing scientific veracity in studying this public health issue, and in guiding policy and research directions.

Item ID: 33341
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-62808-056-8
Keywords: violence, assaultive behavior, alcohol-related injury, methods, precincts, qualitative research
Date Deposited: 27 May 2014 00:49
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1602 Criminology > 160201 Causes and Prevention of Crime @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160810 Urban Sociology and Community Studies @ 50%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940402 Crime Prevention @ 50%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940107 Comparative Structure and Development of Community Services @ 50%
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