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Cutting liquor outlet density can prevent youth homicide

Posted On: Sept. 10, 2011

Washington, Sept 8 (ANI): Violent crime could be reduced significantly if local policymakers limit the number of neighbourhood liquor stores and ban the sale of single-serve containers of alcoholic beverages, according to two US researchers.

In their respective studies, sociology professors Robert N. Parker and Kirk R. Williams, co-directors of the Presley Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at UCR found a correlation between the density of alcohol outlets and violent crime rates among teens and young adults ages 13 to 24.

Generally, there were higher rates of violent crime in neighbourhoods around alcohol outlets that allot more than 10 percent of cooler space for single-serve containers, the report said.

"Policies designed to reduce outlet density can provide relief from violence in and around these neighbourhood outlets. And banning or reducing the sales of single-serve, ready-to-consume containers of alcohol can have an additional impact on preventing violence."

Researchers in the first study analysed federal crime data for offenders ages 13 to 17 and 18 to 24 and census population and economic data to determine crime rates and the density of beer, wine and liquor stores in 91 of the largest American cities in 36 states.

Taking into account other factors known to contribute to youth homicide rates - such as poverty, drugs, availability of guns, and gangs - the researchers found that higher densities of liquor stores, providing easy access to alcoholic beverages, contributed significantly to higher youth homicide rates.

"Our findings suggest that reducing retail alcohol outlet density should significantly reduce the trends of youth homicide," Parker said.

The study has been published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review. (ANI)

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