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Bars, packies and violence


Study, police see a connection but store owners disagree


February 24, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Sometimes, research confirms what most people have long suspected. Such was the case with a recent study that found there's more violence in areas with more liquor stores and bars.

"There is no question, none, that alcohol has a drastic effect on violence," said Police Chief Daniel Charette. "Eighty percent of our calls involve alcohol and/or drugs. If people are having a conflict, the vast majority of calls are alcohol-related."

That observation of many years isn't quite what Professors William Pridemore and Tony Grubesic of Indiana University were studying, though. Their recent research, presented at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in San Diego last weekend, found that each off-premises alcohol-selling establishment per square mile correlates to 2.3 simple assaults and 0.6 aggravated assaults — higher than the 1.15 simple assaults per restaurant and 1.35 per bar.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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