Raising the Bar
Willan – 2008 – 316 pages
Series: Crime Science Series
This book provides a definitive review of knowledge about bar room environments and their regulation, and provides directions for the prevention of aggression, violence and injury in and around public drinking establishments. It shows why drinking establishments are high risk for aggression, why some establishments are riskier than others, the effectiveness of existing interventions and policies, and the importance of better regulatory models for achieving safer drinking establishments. The authors emphasise the need to understand the problem and to tackle it through evidence-based preventive strategies, providing a detailed review of the nature of problem behaviours within the specific context of public drinking establishments - while recognising that these establishments are businesses that operate in diverse communities and cultures. Special attention is paid to the difficulties in implementing and sustaining effective interventions within the kinds of regulatory structures and political and economic climates that currently prevail in western countries. The book draws upon the authors' extensive experience with observational, interview and intervention research related to reducing aggression and injury in drinking establishments, as well as their knowledge of the alcohol field, and of prevention, policing and regulation more generally.
Foreword by Alasdair Forsyth, Glasgow Centre for the Study Violence 1. Why a book about bar violence? Licensed premises as hotspots for violence - what is the evidence? Framing the problem of the prevention of violence in and around drinking establishments. The trend toward market deregulation. 'Raising the bar' 2. The culture of public drinking: normal trouble, violence and its prevention. The heterogeneity of commercial drinking establishments. License to play: the forms and functions of public drinking establishments. License for control: preventing minor trouble from escalating. Putting bar violence and its prevention in a theoretical context 3. Alcohol: the contribution of intoxication to aggression and violent behaviour. Linking alcohol effects and bar violence. The effects of alcohol that are most implicated in aggression in real world settings. The effects of drugs other than alcohol on aggression and violence. Minimising the extent that alcohol contributes to aggression 4. Patrons: risks for violence associated with who goes out drinking and why. Studies of the association between the barroom environment and aggression. What are the fights about? The applications of situational crime prevention and routine activity theories to risks associated with patron characteristics 5. Environment: understanding why some drinking establishments are high risk for aggression. A tale of two settings. Types and locations of premises that are high risk for aggression. The relationship between aggression and the environment of the drinking establishment. Applying knowledge of environmental risk to prevention 6. Staff: redefining their role as guardians, not guards or enforcers. The relationship between staff practices and violence and the move toward club empires with highly specialised and gendered staff roles. Rule enforcement versus intervention in patron conflict. Implication of the growing role of security staff in licensed premises. Strategies for improving the role of staff in preventing aggression. Changing the framing of security and serving staff culture 7. Spilling out the doors: the ecology and governance of violence in the licensed environment. The connections between what happens inside and what happens outside. The ecology of the public spaces around drinking establishments. Governance of the licensed environment. Social control strategies. Towards a better understanding of the ecology of street violence related to licensed premises. The prevention of violence in the licensed environment 8. Evaluated approaches to preventing violence related to drinking in licensed premises. Voluntary programs for individual drinking establishments. Police enforcement. Evaluated accords. Community action projects. The evidence base for the effective prevention of aggression and violence in the licensed environment. The need for ongoing research on the prevention of violence in drinking establishments 9. Violence prevention: towards sustainable, evidence-based practices. Key factors associated with violence in and around drinking establishments and approaches to addressing these factors. Future directions for enhancing prevention of bar violence. Prospects for raising the bar
Kathryn Graham is Professor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.
Ross Homel is Foundation Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University.