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Correlation Between Liquor Store Density and Youth Homicides in U.S.

Posted in Young Adults

Researchers have found a strong link between the density of retailers selling alcohol and violent youth crimes among young adults ages 13 to 24. The study results are groundbreaking and researchers believe such violent crimes can be significantly reduced if lawmakers on the local level will limit the number of neighborhood stores selling alcohol. The authors of the study say they need to also ban sales of the individual containers of alcohol that come in the larger sizes.

According to Science Daily, researchers found that the largest amounts of violent crimes in their neighborhoods were concentrated around alcoholic stores that carve out over 10 percent of their cooler space for these single-serving alcoholic containers.

The overall conclusions from the study were that controlling these alcohol outlets can be a significant means of preventing violent crimes and that we need more policies in place to reduce the density of alcohol outlets in neighborhoods. Banning and/or reducing such individual serving size containers could have further impact in preventing more violence.

Researchers analyzed the federal crime statistics and compared them with census population. They also evaluated economic data in determining the crime rates versus the proximity of the alcohol outlets in 91 of America’s largest cities within 36 states. The study also factored in the statistics such as drugs, gun availability, poverty and gang activity and found that combined with the density of the aforementioned outlets, these all contributed largely to increased rates of youth homicide.

The researchers felt that community interest should be the dictator of local policies and that the potential paybacks from reducing violence would outweigh any possible harm of limiting or banning these sales.