STAD-project (Stockholm Prevents Alcohol and Drug Problems)

Contact name: 
Eva Wallin
Organization: 
STAD-Project
Telephone: 
46 8737 51 40
Address: 
Crafoords vag 6, 113 24 Stockholm, Sweden
Fax: 
46 8737 51 07
Summary

This research studied the effects of a community alcohol prevention program on violent crimes. Starting in 1996, a 10-year multicomponent program based on community mobilization, training in responsible beverage service for servers and stricter enforcement of existing alcohol laws has been conducted in Stockholm, Sweden. Evaluation: During the intervention period, violent crimes decreased significantly by 29% in the intervention area. Conclusion: The intervention seems to have been successful in reducing violent crimes. This effect is most likely due to a combination of various policy changes initiated by the project. The findings support the notion that community action projects working on a local basis can be effective in decreasing alcohol-related problems at licensed premises.

Abstract

Objectives

This research studied the effects of a community alcohol prevention program on violent crimes. Starting in 1996, a 10-year multicomponent program based on community mobilization, training in responsible beverage service for servers and stricter enforcement of existing alcohol laws has been conducted in Stockholm, Sweden. The project has been led by an action group consisting of members from the hospitality industry and the authorities.

Characteristics

Mulitcomponent approach:

  • Community mobilization
  • RBS training of servers
  • Stricter enforcement
Evaluation

During the intervention period, violent crimes decreased significantly by 29% in the intervention area.

Conclusion

The intervention seems to have been successful in reducing violent crimes. This effect is most likely due to a combination of various policy changes initiated by the project. The findings support the notion that community action projects working on a local basis can be effective in decreasing alcohol-related problems at licensed premises.

Intervention details

Problem addressed
Alcohol, Violence, Aggression
Intervention setting
Bar
Club/disco/afters
Target population

Visitors of licensed premises

Substances adressed
Alcohol
Strategic target group (social agents acting as intermediaries between intervention and target group)

Hospiltality industries, authorieties and local politicians, doormen, servers, restaurant owners.

Intervention activities
Community mobilization
Training of staff
Stricter enforcement
Actions
The STAD project comprised three key strategic actions, which are outlined in the following: Community Mobilization; the creation of a committee to raise awareness and increase knowledge concerning alcohol-related harms in the community. The committee is comprised of important stakeholders from the community, for example local police, local council, licensing board, owners of licensed establishments, health authorities and trade unions for licensed premises and their staff. These committees, not unlike licensing accordsin some parts of Australia, act as an advisory group who meet regularly to discuss alcohol-related issues and pursue improving and developing policy, both governmental and (policies and regulations within licensed premises);RBS Training; the implementation of responsible beverage service (RBS) programs. These programs are akin to Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) programs established in Australia, where service staff members receive training regarding alcohol-related harms as well as training to identify and refuse alcohol to intoxicated patrons;Enforcement; a joint collaboration between the licensing board and local police to meet and discuss methods to better regulate and enforce established laws and RBS training. As part of the STAD project, a licensing board distributed letters to licensed establishments informing them of any reported (primarily police recorded) occurrences of over-serving alcohol to patrons within their establishment.
Theory/evidence behind the intervention

Evidence includes:

  • Server training: effects on rating to serve intoxicated people, reduction in alcohol-related traffic crashes.
  • Enforcement: effective in achieving a reduction in alcohol problems when they are measured as alcohol service intoxicated pseudopatrons.
  • Multicomponent interventions: effect on alcohol-related traffic crashes and reduction in violent crimes.
  • Combination: increases the potential to decrease alcohol problems at licensed premises.

Evaluation details

Evaluation type (e.g. process, outcome, cost-effectiveness)
Outcome evaluation
Activities evaluated

All three

Type of evaluator (e.g. external consultant, internal evaluator)
Both internal and external
Evaluation results (Outcome evaluation)

Violent crimes decreased by 29% in the intervention area since the start of the program. In the control area there was a slight increase in reported crimes in the same period, which was also observed for national levels of crime.

Evaluation results (Cost effectiveness)

The cost of the programme was estimated at Euro 796 000. The average cost of a violent crime was estimated at Euro 19 049, which implies overall savings of Euro 31.314 million related to the judicial system (78%), production losses (15%), health care issues (5%) and other damages (2%). Accordingly, the base case cost-saving ratio was 1 : 39. The average loss of health state weighting among the victims at 0.09 translates into 236 gained QALYs for society as a whole, which should be compared with the modest proportion of savings in the health sector.The most significant concern is the low response rate (35%), and caution needs to be exercised when interpreting our results. Yet, a reasonable conclusion is that the monetary and human benefits have been considerable.

Evaluation references

Wallin, E., Normstrasson, S. (2003). Alcohol Prevention targeting licensed premises: a study of effects on violence. Journal of studies on Alcohol and drugs, 64, 270-277.

Mansdotter et al. (2007). A cost-effectiveness analysis of alcohol prevention targeting licensed premises. European Journal of Public Health, 17 (6), 618-623.

An abstract for this journal article can be found in the HNT literature section here.

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