Violence and Licensed Premises. ICAP Report 12

International Center for Alcohol Policies


Over the past decade, increased attention has been directed toward the prediction, management, and containment of violence in and around licensed premises, such as bars and other drinking venues. This report presents an overview of some common strategies that are used to reduce this violence. Although the antecedents of aggression are multi-factorial, interactive, and often individualistic, one of the most important situational determinants is intoxication. There exists a large and consistent experimental literature that demonstrates an association between alcohol intoxication and aggressive behavior in men. Hence, efforts to reduce high levels of intoxication in public drinking settings have become an important preventive strategy. One particular predictor of harm has been identified as bar staff continuing to serve "obviously intoxicated" patrols. For this reason, server intervention programs (e.g. SIPS [Server Intervention Programme Scotland], TIPS [Training in Intervention Procedures for Servers of Alcohol]) have been developed as a means of preventing harm and relating positively to customers. Another important method of reducing alcohol-related violence is responsible management practices (patrol management, quality of ventilation, level of cleanliness, group size, crowd control policy). Another method of reducing the damage caused by violence involves the removal of possible-harm-causing objects, such as broken bottles or glasses. Socially aware law enforcement strategies are highly effective in reducing violence in and around licensed premises. The development of community intervention program marks another approach to the reduction of alcohol-related violence in public.