I'm somewhat involved in the issue of assaults etc around licensed premises (particularly nightclubs) and am looking for some opinions.
Whilst my specific involvement relates to Hobart, I'm assuming it's a similar issue elsewhere too.
If you go back to 2000 then the Hobart waterfront (the dominant pubs / clubs area here) was fairly safe late on Friday and Saturday nights. A few drunks sure, but no big deal and nothing to be really frightened of.
Today it's not a place that too many feel overly safe in after midnight (it's fine during the day though so don't stay away from the area if you're visiting Tas). Plenty of assaults etc outside and recently a high profile one inside a club that's left someone with brain damage. Also trouble with vandalism etc and generally trashing the place.
I have my own opinion on what has changed in that time but I won't mention it now since I'm looking for the thoughts of others.
I will note however that we've had late trading venues for longer than most of their current patrons have been alive. Likewise the drinking age has been 18 for a very long time (though it is more effectively enforced now). And not much else has really changed other than various club closures (one directly related to this issue) and subsequent new venues opening not far away.
I think there is one major factor that has changed and is driving all of this change in behaviour though and I would be surprised if that change wasn't similar across the country. And possibly a second far lesser factor too. As I said though, I'd like to see if anyone comes up with something different before I mention exactly what it is (just trying to keep my research as unbiased as possible).