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29 June 2016, 12:34
People who regularly visit nightclubs are victims of at least three times more violent crimes than those who do not go clubbing, researchers in Nottingham claim.
The risk increases to five times if revellers also use cannabis, and seven times if they use the drug and are also separated or divorced, according to criminologists.
Researchers from Nottingham Trent University's School of Social Sciences analysed the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) as part of the work, looking at data from 160,000 people.
The study found that those who go to nightclubs three or more times a week have experienced at least three times more violent crime than people from otherwise identical backgrounds and circumstances who never visit them.
Those who go clubbing three or more times a week and use cannabis, meanwhile, have experienced five times more violent crime.
And those who go to nightclubs three or more times a week, use cannabis and are separated or divorced, will encounter seven times more violent crime than an identical individual who is married, does not go to clubs or use cannabis.
Other common risk factors for violent crime included being male, going to clubs just once or twice weekly and going to pubs at least three times a week, the study found.
The findings could be used to inform licensing policies for pubs and clubs, while advice and support on reducing the risk of violence could also be included during separation and divorce procedures, according to researchers.
Andromachi Tseloni, professor of quantitative criminology at Nottingham Trent University, said: ``The effects of violence are not just those of emotional and physical harm to the victim.
``It spreads much wider in terms of the impact on healthcare, cost to the criminal justice system, lost working hours, and a societal fear of crime.
``For these reasons, it is extremely important to identify factors associated with trends in violence so that they can be mitigated.
``Creating safe environments for night-time leisure activities where all population groups, young and old, male and female, feel at ease to participate, seems to have an effect on reduced stranger and acquaintance violence.''
The preliminary findings have emerged in the Violence Trends Project.