Getting tough on alcohol fuelled violence: a united operation

Alcohol fuelled violence is a topic that never seems to go away. It gets prime real estate in our news across Australia. Lately it has focussed on single attacks which have resulted in severe injuries or unfortunately, death.

FARE tells us through their annual alcohol poll that 37% of Australians have been affected by alcohol-related violence, and 70% have been negatively affected by someone else’s drinking in some way (including property damage and physical abuse).

The police across Australia will tell you that the majority of call outs involve alcohol and in Victoria it is estimated that more than one-third (38 per cent) of alcohol-related violence takes place at residential addresses.¹

In 2010, around 8 per cent of Australians aged 14 years or older were the victim of physical abuse by someone who had consumed alcohol (increasing from 4.5 per cent in 2007).

Many of us would have experienced or know of someone who has experienced alcohol violence but the cold reality is that there are:
• 367 deaths,
• 14,000 people are hospitalised,
• 70,000 people are victims of alcohol-related violence,
• 24,000 people are victims of domestic violence, and
• almost 20,000 children are victims of substantiated alcohol-related child abuse²     (read more…)

So it should come as no surprise that this year’s Operation Unite will again be targeting drunken violence.

Operation Unite is a joint initiative of Police Commissioners across Australia and New Zealand. Since its commencement in 2009, seven operations have been staged across Australia and New Zealand.

The aim of the Operation is to heighten community awareness of the issues associated with excessive alcohol consumption and related harm. The message reinforced is that police, frontline health workers and the wider community need to work together to reduce the impacts of alcohol-related harm.

Operation Unite will run between 1800 hours (local time) Thursday 17 April to 0600 hours (local time) Monday 21 April 2014 and aims to send a strong and clear message that police will not put up with alcohol-related violence, drunken behaviour and other related crime.

To show your support for Operation Unite you can like their Facebook page.

GrogWatch is interested to know, how common is alcohol fuelled violence in your community? Have you or someone you know experienced alcohol violence?


1. Briscoe S & Donnelly N 2001 “Assaults on licensed premises in inner-urban areas”, Alcohol Studies Bulletin no 2, Australian Institute of Criminology.
2. Laslett A-M et al 2010 Beyond the drinker : Alcohol’s hidden costs : The range and magnitude of alcohol’s harm to others, Fitzroy, Victoria: AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Eastern Health