Objective: To analyze the relationship between criminal violence and number of outlets for on-premise sales of alcohol.
Method: The data comprise aggregate time series for Norway for the period 1960-95. Two crime indicators were used: (1) crimes of violence investigated by the police per 100,000 inhabitants aged 15 years and above (15+) and (2) convictions for criminal violence per 100,000 inhabitants (15+). Outlet density was measured as number of public drinking places per 10,000 inhabitants (15+).
Results: On the basis of autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) analyses of differenced data, a positive and statistically significant relationship (p = .03) was found between outlet density and crimes of violence investigated by the police. This replicates the findings that are reported from cross-sectional studies. The relationship was also positive, but of borderline significance (p = .06), when convictions for criminal violence were used as outcome.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that increases in the number of public drinking places are associated with increases in criminal violence. Although other kinds of data support the findings, these are the first to be based on longitudinal data. To test for robustness and cultural specificity it, therefore, seems warranted to replicate the study on data from other drinking cultures.