Understanding and responding to alcohol-related social harms in Australia: Options for policing


This paper explores evidence concerning levels of alcohol-related social harms in Australia as well as providing a menu of potential options to enhance the capability of police agencies in Australia to reduce these harms. While there is now a robust literature concerning a range of measures from early childhood interventions to treatment programs that reduce the social harms associated with alcohol consumption, this paper is confined to the consideration of measures that would either involve, or impact upon, policing in the shorter term. The paper first explores some international and macro-economic factors that are impacting on the regulation of alcohol sales in Australia and represent a force which could potentially increase the social harms associated with alcohol consumption. Then, the research concerning the extent of social harms associated with alcohol consumption is outlined. This is followed by a summary of policing-focussed strategies that are most likely to reduce the social harms associated with alcohol consumption. Finally, a menu of non-exclusive options to reduce alcohol-related harm is provided. (Executive summary, edited)

"A discussion paper prepared at the request of the Conference of Commissioners of Police of Australasia and the South West Pacific Region."