ASSAULTS NSW pubs are down despite weekly headlines about alcohol fuelled violence in party hot spots, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found.
Figures recently released by NSW Police showed that between January 2007 and December 2012, the number of assaults recorded by police at licensed premises fell from 1620 to 1236.
To test widespread claims that the stats had been rigged by bar staff who didn't want to report incidents that attracted harsh restrictions, the bureau selected a random sample of 1600 assault files.
Half were drawn from a list of the top100 troubled premises in the state, which are ranked in order of reported assaults.
The bureau found "no statistically significant" change was detected in the percentage of assaults reported by bar staff.
Commenting on the findings, BOS Director, Dr Don Weatherburn said the study provided reassurance that the downward trend in police records was genuine and not a result of lower reporting rates.
He noted the study could not rule out the possibility some staff had become "less willing" to report assaults to police but said that if a change in behaviour had occurred, it was too small to be detected.
Copies of the report can be found at http://www.boscar.nsw.gov.au
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.