Nov 24, 2016

No evidence Star assaults under-reported SMH Rachel Olding and Sean Nicholls

Reported in the Sydney Morning Herald:

A study examining claims that The Star casino has been hiding assaults from the authorities has found no evidence of underreporting after the lockout and last drinks laws were introduced.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research re-examined all 278 assaults at The Star since 2012 after leaked documents revealed last month that the casino had not reported about 67 per cent of violent incidents to the police.

The revelations raised the possibility that the Pyrmont casino, which sits just outside the lockout law zone and is therefore exempt from the 2014 reforms, was deliberately hiding assaults. However, BOCSAR director Don Weatherburn said their analysis, to be released on Thursday, does not support this.

The bureau classified the 278 assault reports according to who made the initial report to police. Researchers then compared the proportion of reports made by staff over time.

The study found that the proportion of assaults reported by staff had actually increased from 56.5 per cent in the two years before the lockout laws were introduced to 60 per cent in the two years after.

It follows previous BOCSAR reports that have shown a small increase in overall assaults at The Star since the lockout reforms.

‘‘No one expects every minor bump and scuffle to end up in a police assault report but we would have been concerned if the proportion of assault incidents reported to police by staff at The Star had declined,’’ Dr Weatherburn said.

‘‘As it is we remain of the view that the growth in assaults at The Star since the lockout has up to this point been fairly small.’’

The leaked documents, prepared by the NSW liquor and gaming regulator, said 75 of the 111 violent incidents between March and August did not result in police attendance.

Read original story here.