Policy Development, Program Management and Evaluation

NSW Governments Liquor Lockout Laws 2011- 2019

In the year 2011, Lockout laws were implemented in South Wales in order to reduce the violence which is alcohol fuelled. The main purpose of the policy was to minimize the criminal activity, public intoxication and violence among the groups in the country. The reforms were put in the place after the death of Daniel Christie. The media releases proclaimed that the implementation of the lockout laws led to a significant reduction in the incidence of criminal activities and assaults in the entertainment precincts. The reforms implementation included that the hotels, registered clubs, karaoke and night clubs were closed by 1:30 am. Along with this it was also made sure that the alcohol service was also ceased by 3:00 am in the precincts. Underlying the reforms, the new liquor licenses were ceased in all the venues in the precincts. The government also allowed no takeaway of alcohol after 10:00 pm.

Prior the implementation of the above steps, it could be find out that the NSW witnessed a considerable drop in the criminal activities and assaults in the area by 32%. In the Sydney CBD, the implementation of the laws leads to a reduction of 26% in the overall cases of assault. Along with this, the Bureau also investigated that the implementation of the laws also had an indirect impact on the incidence of assault in the areas adjacent to Sydney CBD. All of the area that was near to the precincts witnessed a reduction in the violence rates. However, according to one of the media releases it could be find out that the even after the implementation of the laws the number of assaults increased around the Star Casino. However, the findings also reveal that the increase in the assault was not significant. Also, the director of Bureau pointed out to the fact that the findings of the study did not proclaim that the entire reduction in the criminal activity is due to the less alcohol consumed by the people in the areas. The per unit impact of the reduction in the alcohol consumption on the violence reduced was not find out. Therefore, it was difficult to comment on the effectiveness of the Liquor Lockout Laws.

Policy Actors and Institutions

The policy was a result of coalition of law enforcement service, health professionals, researchers and community members. All these parties were the policy actors who played a big role in the implementation of the laws. The community members along with these policy actors called upon the government of NSW for delivering commitment to take measures for reducing the usage of alcohol in Sydney NSW. The policy actors asked for reaffirmation from the government to display its commitment towards taking and effectively implementing measures for reducing the alcohol related violence in NSW. After the continuous calling, finally the laws were passed by Parliament on 30 January 2014. According to the reports, Michael Thorn was also a continuous motivator for the government to implement ways for reducing the consumption of alcohol in NSW. Michael Thorn who is a Chief Executive of Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education warned the government not to take any backwards steps after implementing the measures for reducing the alcohol consumption in NSW.

The reports also point out to the fact that the Chief Executive commended the government of NSW to show their commitment towards the change. The findings of the report by Bureau also point out to the fact that the NSW showed effective leadership in reducing the alcohol consumption and is related violence. The NSW government was the main policy actor which made sure that every aspect of the policy was on track for effectively preventing the criminal activities related to alcohol consumption in the area. All the efforts of the NSW government were successful which lead to significant reduction in the harms related to alcohol which eventually lead to an increase in the amenity of the community. From the year of 2014, there was a ban on the advertisements on the liquor and the sales of liquor in Sydney. It was also reported by the staff of St. Vincent’s hospital that they also confirmed that there has been a significant reduction in the injury and violence cases related to alcohol consumption. There was significant decline in the alcohol related trauma instances in the hospital which clearly indicated that the reforms related to alcohol selling and consumption in Sydney led to drastic reduction in the violence

It was also evident that even the politicians at that time were taking active role in increasing the implementation of the reforms in order to gain the trust of the community members. But, through this act they also became a very important element of the policy actions related to alcohol consumption in Sydney.

Agenda Setting

In policy making, in order to ensure that every policy actor is able to effectively contribute it becomes important to set the agenda of the policy. Agenda setting clarifies the main objective for enacting and implementing the policy. The lockout laws were implemented in Sydney in order to reduce the alcohol fuelled violence and assaults in Sydney. In this policy, the policy was formulated from a societal viewpoint and with the motive of increasing the welfare of the society.

The agenda was set to reduce the alcohol fuelled violence acts in Sydney. It was evident that over the years there was an increase in the number of violent cases in the kings cross clubbing district which encouraged the NSW government to formulate a more formal and structured policies in order to reduce the number of cases. The structure was formulated in order to reduce the availability of alcohol at the areas where the alcohol was largely consumed.

Policy Debate/ Formulation

Every policy is implemented in an economy in order to bring change and to increase the community welfare. This policy was formulated in order to reduce the anti social behaviour in the economy that was actually happening due to increase in the alcohol consumption. Over the years, there was hike in the alcohol fuelled behaviour around the licensed premises which actually lead to the intervention in the form of lockout laws in the New South Wales. All the reforms under the law were enacted by the government for effectively addressing the problem of ant social behaviour after the consumption of alcohol.

It could be analysed that the government was analysing the problems and was trying to implement all the possible solutions. The narrow down approach was adopted by the government wherein the government try to find the solutions and narrow down to the solutions that will prove to be the most cost effective solutions for the economy.

Decision Making

In the process of implementing a policy, the costs and the benefits of a policy are evaluated in order to predict the usefulness of the policy. It was decided that Sydney required a structured and formal approach in order to address the issue of increased alcohol fuelled violence. In the decision making, the government drafted an evidence based state wide plan of action in order to enact the policies effectively in order to particularly focus on declining the number of violence acts and assaults. The plan was said to be enacted in a manner that it would help in finding out the trend in the assaults. The plan also included examined the exact timing and location of the change. According to the report, transparent data analysis was conducted in order to make the policy. Every highlight of the policy was equally communicated to all the policy actors and the community members in order to win the trust of the public in decision making. According to the government, it was important for them to communicate each detail to the public because of the ongoing debate over restricting the sale of alcohol in Sydney. Prior to the communication, the ideas of moral and social order was implemented in the precincts and the all the areas around it. Soon, it was realized that the laws implemented by the government were in favour of the local public as the lockout laws were able to reduce the crime rate and it also had a profound impact on the nightlife of Sydney.

The reports also point out to the fact that in the initial phase of implementation, the government adopted a basic approach for finding out the factors that actually lead to an increase in the anti social behaviour in Sydney which actually made them realize that the increase in the alcohol consumption is one of the factors that actually lead to an increase in the violence acts and injures in the state. This basic model was further drafted and shaped into stringent policies and actions for reducing the alcohol fuelled violence. However, the report also point out to the fact that policy received resentment from the public but the government did not see backwards and stringently imposed the laws related to lockdown of the areas in which the alcohol was distributed to the customers.

Policy Instruments

According to the welfare theory, it becomes important for the government to adopt those instruments that actually helps in increasing the welfare of the society. The lockout laws were implemented with the instrument of restricting the sale of the alcohol in hotels and clubs. These were the areas that contributed to most of the alcohol sales. This significantly impacted the night life of Sydney but it was done keeping in mind the well being of the entire society. Restricting the supply of alcohol eventually helped in restricting the demand of alcohol in the society. The decline in the alcohol consumption by the people in the state eventually helped in increasing the crime rates in Sydney.

These policy instruments were adopted after rigorous data analysis in order to find out the factors that actually led to an increase in the crime rate of Sydney. According to the correspondence theory, it becomes important to clearly communicate the idea of the policy in order to successfully realize its benefits. Therefore, the other policy instrument that was adopted by the government was clear communication about the goals and ideas to the community members. There were different policy actors and the process of policy making was conveyed to each of the partner in order to ensure that each policy actor was working towards the common goal that was to reduce the alcohol fuelled crime in Sydney.

Implementation

Before the implementation of the policy, data was collected in order to find out the factors that actually led to an increase in the crime rates. Prior the implementation, data was collected in order to find out the impact of the policy on the crime rates and injury rates in the hospitals. The data analysis was conducted and it was found that the policy implemented significantly impacted the crime rate and injury rate. There was sudden significant decline in the rates.

In the implementation process, regulatory tests were conducted in order to assess whether the laws were implemented properly or not.

Program Management/ Performance Indicators

The performance indicator of the policy was the injury rate and crime rate due to alcohol consumption in Sydney. Within few days of enactment, it was found out that there was a significant decline in both the rates which clearly indicated that alcohol was one of the significant factors that led to an increase in the crime rate in Sydney.

Conclusion on Lockout Laws

Through the above discussion it could be easily evaluated that the policy was able to significantly decrease in the crime rate. One of the important finding of the discussion held is that effective analysis was conducted both before and after the implementation of the policy. The bottom up approach and data collection techniques proved to be effective in reducing the alcohol fuelled crime in Sydney. Another important finding of the discussion is that effective leadership model was adopted by NSW government in order to achieve the ultimate goals of the policy.

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