Preloading drinks project recognised for reducing violence and anti-social behaviour

Smart Start, a joint initiative of Griffith University and theQueensland Police Service, today received a silver award in the community-led category of the 2016Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards(ACVPA).

The ACVPAs recognise good practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.

“The Smart Start project began in June 2014 and grew to become the world’s largest preloading study. It’s one of the first research projects of its kind to include research engagement together with front-line police and focus on operational outcomes,” said Griffith University’s Associate Professor Grant Devilly.

“The project continues to be funded by the National Drug Strategy Law Enforcement Funding Committee, and has so far enabled front-line police and researchers from Griffith University to survey and breath test people as they start their night out, and as they leave Brisbane’s entertainment precincts.

“Reception towards the project has been extremely positive with many in the community keen to contribute and compare how intoxicated they feel with an accurate breath test,” Associate Professor Devilly said.

Engaging with the community

Inspector Corey Allen, manager of Queensland Police Service Constable Development said front-line police enjoyed the opportunity to engage with the community in such positive terms.

“This project enabled front-line police to engage with and educate the community on a serious topic, helping contribute to some tangible operational outcomes, as the engagement is still taking place in and around areas linked to alcohol related violence,” Inspector Allen said.

“The results from the engagement will also help influence prevention and engagement strategies into the future.”

“There is no doubt that the recognition and acknowledgement that comes with winning the ACVPA is a significant honour, but the real benefits are in sharing innovative ideas, connecting with other crime prevention practitioners and knowing that great work from all over Australia will influence better outcomes for the community well after the trophy is presented.

“The ACVPAs challenge the crime prevention community to articulate the good work being done in ways that promote innovation and provide and evidence base for others to build on.”

This year, the ACVPA celebrates its 25th year of rewarding outstanding community-based crime and violence prevention projects

“This project was recognised by the ACVPA as it combines academic research and police-community engagement to contribute to reducing violence and anti-social behaviour in the night-time economy,” said acting Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Director, Chris Dawson APM.

The projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service and is chaired by the AIC Director.

The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments, coordinated by the AIC and co-sponsored by the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council.

For more information about the award winners,