Police say assault rate dropping in Bicton

Police say assault rate dropping in Bicton

RECENT assault figures in Bicton show a downward trend, according to police, despite a report by Curtin University researchers that found the electorate was among Perth’s worst for alcohol-fuelled serious assaults.

The report, sent to political candidates and released recently in the media, used data from the National Alcohol Indicators project and applied it to 2017 electoral boundaries.

According to the Alcohol-related harms in Western Australian Electoral Districts report, there were an estimated 415 alcohol-related serious assaults from 10pm to 6am between 2010 and 2013.

Palmyra police station officer-in-charge Gavin Radice said recent figures for the Palmyra sub-district showed a downward trend in both domestic violence and other assaults.

For the financial year to date, domestic violence figures in the sub-district had dropped 9 per cent and other assaults had fallen 8.4 per cent, following a previous drop of 4 per cent.

In the same timeframe, the sub-district – which includes 14 suburbs – had recorded 172 domestic violence assaults and 87 other assaults.

Fiona Stanley Hospital had 964 alcohol-related Emergency Department admissions in 2016 and 812 the year before that.

These figures are 0.9 per cent of the total number of Emergency Department attendances, which were 102,299 last year.

But alcohol-related attendances may be under-reported, because if a person attended hospital with an injury and under the influence then only their injury may be reported.

The McCusker report also attributes to alcohol an estimated 470 deaths in the Bicton electorate, using figures from 2010-2012 applied to the 2017 electoral boundaries.

Of these deaths, 343 were cardiovascular, 46 cancers, 21 injuries, 19 mental health and 41 listed as “other”.

It claims more than 1200 people living in the electorate made alcohol-related presentations to an emergency department between 2009 and 2013.

These figures only included weekend night presentation information from 2009-2013 of people aged 15 years and over.

The report was produced by Curtin University researchers at the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and the National Drug Research Institute, in association with the WA Alcohol and Youth Action Coalition, which is co-chaired by Professor Fiona Stanley and McCusker Centre director Mike Daube.

“For political parties keen to reduce the pressure on hospitals, ambulances and police resources, a commitment to evidence-based policies to prevent and reduce harm from alcohol would go a long way to achieving this,” Julie Stafford from McCusker Centre said.