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Expert Alert

U of M Expert: Minneapolis neighborhoods with bars have more crime than those with liquor stores

July 24, 2012

Residential neighborhoods in Minneapolis with higher densities of alcohol outlets are more likely to have higher rates of violent crimes. Neighborhoods with more on-premise outlets are more likely to see violent crimes than those neighborhoods with off-premise outlets.

A University of Minnesota expert who can speak to the relationship between Minneapolis crime-rate and alcohol establishments is Traci L. Toomey, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Public Health.

Toomey’s recent study, “The Association Between Density of Alcohol Establishments and Violent Crime Within Urban Neighborhoods,” will be published in the August 2012 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and is currently available at Early View.

“There are numerous studies that show an area with more alcohol establishments is likely to have a higher rate of violent crime,” Toomey said. “But many of these studies do not differentiate between the type of establishments or the type of crimes.”

In this study, Toomey and her colleagues assessed whether the density of alcohol establishments impacted four categories of violent crime:

The researchers studied whether or not the effects of a higher density of alcohol establishments varied by the type of violent crime and by on-premise establishments (e.g., bars, restaurants) versus off-premise establishments (e.g., liquor and convenience stores).

According to Toomey, results of this study, combined with earlier findings, provide more evidence that community leaders should be cautious about increasing the density of alcohol establishments within their neighborhoods.

To watch a video explaining the study further, click here.

To schedule an interview with Traci Toomey, contact Laurel Herold at (612) 624-2449, or

Tags: Academic Health Center

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