The negative effects of alcohol establishment size and proximity on the frequency of violent and disorder crime across block groups of Victoria, British Columbia

Jessica L. Fitterer, Trisalyn Nelson, Timothy Stockwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Multiple studies have associated the density of alcohol establishments with crime. What is not well understood is the influence of establishment patron capacity on the magnitude of crime in an area, or how the spacing of liquor primary establishments impacts crime levels. Using a Poisson spatial lag model, we estimated how patron capacity of on-premises licenses and the total number of off-premises licenses were associated with the frequency of violent and disorder crime occurring on Friday and Saturday nights in Victoria, British Columbia. To identify how the distance between bars and pubs was associated with the frequency of crime within 200 m of each establishment, we applied bivariate curve fitting and change detection techniques. Our model explained 76% percent of the variance in crime frequencies. Bars and pubs within block groups, and in neighboring block groups, had a significant positive association (p < 0.05) with the frequency of crime compared to other on-premises licenses (e.g., restaurants, theatres, clubs, hotels), and off-premises liquor stores. For every additional 1111 bar or pub patron seats the crime frequency per block group is expected to double over a 17 month period (factor of 1.0009 per patron seat). Crime frequency significantly dropped (p < 0.05) around (200 m) bars and pubs that are spaced greater than 300 m apart. Our results provide the first evidenced-based information for evaluating the size and spacing of on-premises licenses in Canada.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number297
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018



  • Alcohol establishment
  • Crime
  • Disorder
  • Distance
  • Off-premises
  • On-premises
  • Spatial lag
  • Violent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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