Alcohol Outlet Density, Deprivation, and Crime in Scotland
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Alcohol use has been linked to a number of crimes including assault, violence and sexual crimes. Research is now looking deeper into the relationships between alcohol, the alcohol environment and crime. The majority of these studies have investigated alcohol outlet density but there is a lack of research in this area in Britain and Scotland. This study used a combination of ordinal logistic regression and Kruskal-Wallis tests with alcohol outlet data sources from Scotland’s 32 liquor licensing boards in conjunction with Government deprivation and crime data to investigate the relationships between deprivation and alcohol outlet density and alcohol outlet density and crime in Scotland, alongside a case study centred around Scotland’s largest city Glasgow which employed police violent crime data. The results of the study suggested a strong positive relationship for off-licence outlets with deprivation, and crime. The relationships involving on-licence outlets were significant but more difficult to interpret, possibly due to wide range of on-licence outlets (pubs, night clubs, and restaurants). Total outlet results followed close to on-licence due to the large proportion of on licenses which make total. Nationally the study suggests a disproportionate association between off-licence alcohol outlet density and crime and that these higher densities are found in the more deprived areas of Scotland placing an increased burden on the communities who can least afford it.