Policing alcohol-related incidents: A study of time and prevalence

Palk, Gavan R., Davey, Jeremy D., & Freeman, James E. (2007) Policing alcohol-related incidents: A study of time and prevalence. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 30(1), pp. 82-92.

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Objective: To examine the prevalence of alcohol-related incidents attended by operational police within three of the largest cities of Queensland e.g., Brisbane, Gold Coast and Townsville (N = 7398). There have been only a relatively small proportion of Australian studies that have examined the prevalence and characteristics of alcohol-related incidents requiring police attention and most are based on small sample sizes that are representative of specific populations. Method: Participants in the current study were first response operational police officers who completed a modified activity log over a 5 week period, identifying the type, prevalence and characteristics of alcohol-related incidents that were attended (N = 31090). Results: Overall, approximately one in four incidents attended by police during the study period, involved alcohol while only 3% were drug related. The most common incidents police attended were vehicle and/or traffic matters, disturbances and offences against property. A closer examination revealed that disturbances and vehicle/traffic type incidents were almost twice as likely to be alcohol-related as compared to the overall percentage of incidents. Similar findings were evident between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas which highlights the consistent impact of alcohol on police resources. Offenders were more likely to be young males, while victims consisted of a relatively even number of males and females. Conclusions: The findings highlight the pervasive nature of alcohol across a range of criminal incidents, demonstrating the tremendous impact alcohol-related incidents have on police resources and can potentially contribute to the development of more effective, problem-oriented strategies to address alcohol-related crime.

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14 citations in Scopus
12 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 6886
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: alcohol related crime, prevalence, police
DOI: 10.1108/13639510710725631
ISSN: 1363-951X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Criminology not elsewhere classified (160299)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Emerald
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 05 Apr 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:34

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