Local government alcohol-related data

The purpose of this support sheet is to assist local governments to collect their own data to better inform strategy and actions efforts. This will also assist in measuring impacts of and actions being implemented over time.

Keeping record of alcohol-related activity or issues that relate to the business of your council does not have to involve complex data systems or analysis skills.

The below table provides some examples of the type of data and information local governments can collect. Where possible, it is recommended that all information is recorded by time of day and location.

Data
type
Examples Data
source
What
can this data tell you?
Alcohol-related
noise complaints.
·       Categorised and recorded noise complaints, including enforcement
options used.
·       Complaints register.
·       Environmental Health.
Noise
complaints that show a definite link to excessive consumption of alcohol
products may indicate a need to look at the local availability of alcohol and
to liaise with the relevant people involved about the role of alcohol in the
issues at hand.
Alcohol-related
litter.
·       Clean-up costs associated with events & licenced premises.
·       Volume collected.
·       Type of litter.
·       Waste management.
·       Security patrols.
·       Environmental Health.
Alcohol-related
litter can provide local government workers with information on where people
congregate when drinking as well as the types and volumes of alcohol products
being consumed.
Alcohol-related
litter information collected can be used to liaise with local licencees and
business operators about concerns or inform assessments of liquor licence
applications.
Large
amounts of litter left by groups in parks or other public spaces could
indicate a need to develop strategies for managing rubbish disposal and
collection.
Community
security patrol data
·       Number of callouts that were alcohol-related.
·       Type of incident where alcohol was a contributing factor.
·       Location of call outs.
·       Security patrols.
·       Community Safety.
·       Security.
Information
that security patrols can collect will often be more timely and specific to
the locality than other external sources of data and can inform planning and
other relevant local government decisions to support and uphold community
amenity.
Alcohol
outlet count and density
·       VCGLR’s liquor licenses map.
·       Number of liquor outlets.
·       Location of liquor outlets.
·       Planning. Identify
distance from one outlet to another and proximity to community-based
facilities, such as schools and sports clubs.
This
data can be mapped against the locations where alcohol-related crimes and
incidents occur to represent the connection between alcohol outlet density
and community problems.
Maintenance
and management of public space
·       Number of incidents associated with alcohol-related property
damage, damage to bus stops, graffiti, flora and fauna.
·       Clean up costs associated with damage.
·       Security patrols.
·       Environmental Health.
Identify
public places where alcohol was a contributing factor to antisocial
behaviour.
Alcohol-related
sponsorship of sporting clubs and events
·       Tracking of community sporting club sponsorships by big alcohol
product brands via leasing agreements.
·       Tracking of cultural and arts events sponsored by big alcohol
product brands.
·       Via event permits.
·       Vic council leasing agreements.
It
is well evidenced that alcohol product promotion and placement can influence
consumption. 
Mapping
sponsorship by big alcohol product brands can provide council insight into
where product placement and promotion could be influencing increased issues
associated with alcohol product consumption and provide opportunity to better
direct council efforts, particularly where young people and vulnerable groups
may be negatively influenced and impacted.
Community
attitudes and concerns
·       Number of community concerns relating to
alcohol product consumption through complaints register or community surveys.
·       Community Services Officer
·       All relevant departments
Identify
concerns by community and business related to alcohol that needs further
investigation.
Resident
and business complaints
·       Complaints by residents recorded using
specific software. May involve electronic service request systems or excel.
More elaborate programs such as ‘Electronic Document Management systems’ are
sometimes also available.
·       Email available for people to write to council and register complaints.
·       Electronic complaints system. All departments.
Identify
concerns raised by residents and businesses related to alcohol product
consumption that needs further investigation.
Liquor
licence applications
·       Number of existing licence by licence type. ·       Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.
·       All departments dealing with liquor licences (e.g. Environmental
Health, Planning).
This
data can give you information about the number and mix of licenced premises
in your area.
This
data can be mapped against the locations where alcohol-related issues occur.
Community
consultation regarding high-risk licence applications
·       Through use of community and business
surveys.
·       All departments dealing with liquor licences (e.g. Environmental
Health, Planning).
This
data can be used to identify the existing concerns by the community.
Potential
to identify any gaps in local government key strategic documents that could
be addressed to manage future community concerns.

This tool was developed by, and adapted with the permission of the WA Mental Health Commission, WA Local Government Association, and Dr Melissa Stoneham.