Collecting place of drinking data from across policing ? A trial in rural Victoria
The Victoria Police and the Transport Accident Commission undertook a trial project (Project ARID) in which place of drinking data were collected from across all Police activities over a six-month period in a rural area of Victoria. Police in Division 4 of Region 4 (including the population centres of Seymour and Benalla, and the area east of the Hume Highway as far east as Mt Buller and as far south as Marysville) agreed to complete a small form (provided as an A6 tear-off pad) each time they attended or came across an incident that appeared to involve alcohol. The forms were returned to the author on a weekly basis by each Police Station in the Division. Data concerning a total of 395 alcohol-related incidents were returned by Police, with 36.5% of these relating to drink driving and the remainder relating to incidents and offences in other areas of policing including domestic incidents, drinking or being intoxicated in public places, and assaults. Data were analysed in terms of the time and day of week of the incident, location, place of drinking, and offence type. The project demonstrated that data of this type could be an important additional source of information for Police when planning enforcement strategies targeting drink driving and other alcohol-related problems in the community.