Community

An empirical basis for the ratio of crowd controllers to patrons

Managing the safety of patrons and others in event and venue settings is of significant concern in Australia. A key strategy for dealing with this issue is the use of crowd controllers.
Determining sufficient crowd controller numbers to reduce the potential for harm at events and venues is, however, problematic given the many variables that are involved.
This study identifies key risk factors impacting the crowd controller to patron ratio decision and develops decision aids (Crowd Controller Assessment Tools) for use by those faced with advising on, or making decisions about, crowd management.

Prohibiting public drinking in an urban area: Determining the impacts on police, the community and marginalised groups

Public drinking laws have proliferated across urban areas over the past 15 years; however, there have been very few evaluations of their impacts and effectiveness. The purpose of this project was to evaluate public drinking laws across three diverse inner-urban local government areas (LGAs) of Melbourne: the Cities of Yarra, Darebin and Maribyrnong. The objectives of this project were to evaluate the implementation of public drinking laws, the effectiveness of these laws and the impact of these laws on a range of target groups including police, residents, traders, local health and welfare workers, and potentially marginalised groups. The evaluation produced equivocal findings in relation to whether public drinking laws reduced congregations of drinkers (with differing findings across municipalities) and there was no evidence that these laws reduced alcohol-related crime or harm. However, public drinking laws do make residents feel safer and improve the amenity of an area from the perspective of residents and traders. The evaluation found that public drinking laws often result in negative impacts to marginalised individuals and this requires more consideration in the implementation and enforcement of these laws. It is important that public drinking laws are carefully considered, implemented and enforced (with local council officers and police liaising collaboratively to respond to the needs of the individual community) and are coupled with community-specific social inclusion strategies.

Evaluation of the deterrent effect of Random Breath Testing (RBT) and Random Drug Testing (RDT) - The driver's perspective

The evaluation involved a mixed methodology, where review and a qualitative component guided the development of a survey to assess the deterrent effect of random breath testing (RBT) and random drug testing (RDT), and a quantitative component measured the influence of various law enforcement practices on a driver’s decision to drink/drug drive. In order to ascertain aspects of law enforcement practice that have the greatest deterrence value to drivers, analysis on Australia-wide data was performed. The project focused on identifying which law enforcement practices have the greatest deterrent effect on drivers who consume alcohol and/or drugs, and who indicate they are likely to drink drive and/or drug drive in the future from the driver’s perspective.

Law enforcement and khat: An analysis of current issues

"Khat" refers to the leaves of the Catha edulis tree. While khat has been chewed for centuries by people in countries in the Horn of Africa region for its stimulant properties, in recent years its use in Australia has increased as more people from the region, particularly Somalia, have settled here. Drawing on focus groups conducted with over one hundred Somali and Ethiopian people in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth and on interviews with police service / force employees in those states, we examine current issues associated with the use and regulation of the plant and problems for law enforcement.

Making Sense of Partnerships

A study of police and housing department collaboration for tackling drug and related problems on public housing estates