Exploring Police Demands for Violent Behaviour on State of Origin Game Nights

Ms Siobhan Allen1, Ms Claire Irvine1

1Queensland Police Service, Australia

Since its inception in 1980, the popularity and engagement with State of Origin has grown to become one of the key events on the Australian sporting calendar.  The heightened competitive environment associated with the State of Origin series is often accompanied with violent behaviour among fans, when compared to standard rugby league season games.


In anticipation of an increase in alcohol consumption, crowd disturbances, reported assaults and emergency department presentations, which are commonly reported nationally and internationally following sporting games, Queensland emergency services typically deploy additional staff on State of Origin game nights. Little research, however has explored the relationship between State of Origin game nights and trends in violent behaviour (such as assaults and domestic violence) in Queensland.


Using police calls for service data and police reported offence data, this presentation explores the effect of game nights on assaults and domestic violence in Queensland, and the influence of game outcomes on policing demands. The findings of which have informed strategic decision-making of police resources on State of Origin game nights.


Claire Irvine is a Senior Research and Evaluation Officer in the Queensland Police Service’s Research and Evaluation unit. Claire has worked in various roles in a research and policy capacity for the Queensland Police Service for over 5 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Criminology and has recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Policy Analysis. Claire has a keen interest in experimental criminology, evidence based policing and translating research into policy.

Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing

The Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing (ANZSEBP) was formed in April 2013 in Brisbane, Australia. The ANZSEBP is a police practitioner-led Society. The mission of the ANZSEBP is to develop, disseminate and advocate for police to use scientific research (“the evidence”) to guide best practice in all aspects of policing. The ANZSEBP Chairperson serves on the Executive Board of the British Society of Evidence Based Policing, ensuring that the ANZSEBP works cooperatively with an international group of police to advance evidence based policing.

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