Research has demonstrated that alcohol misuse has a significant impact on police time and resources, the health sector and the Australian community more broadly. Despite growing interest in the topic and the number of studies that have been completed, there remain significant limitations to the national measurement of alcohol-related crime. While recent studies have canvassed the challenges of measuring alcohol-related crime and proposed possible solutions, this study set out to bridge a gap in the knowledge and understanding of the steps that need to be taken to establish practical, high-quality indicators of alcohol-related crime at a national level.
The Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs commissioned the Australian Institute of Criminology to undertake a review of policing and non-policing data on the involvement of alcohol in crime and to identify the short-, medium- and longer-term options available for better understanding and measuring the magnitude of alcohol-related crime in Australia. Based on an extensive review of the literature, interviews with representatives from all state and territory police agencies and a range of non-policing agencies, and a review of existing data sources, this report describes the data that are currently available to measure the involvement of alcohol in crime, the strengths and limitations of these data and the issues that will likely impact on future efforts to measure alcohol-related crime at the national level. The report ends by proposing a suite of national indicators of alcohol-related crime.