Study Shows Club Owners Can Help Reduce Crime

LITTLE ROCK, Ark -- The issue of safety for those enjoying nightlife in Little Rock has been a big concern for a lot of people after a mass shooting at a club this summer.

Bar and club owners in Little Rock looking to keep their venues safe have plenty of ways to do that.

A study done by former UA Little Rock grad students shows club owners can play a big part.

JD Lipscomb, co-owner of 'Envy' off of Colonel Glenn, said there are components to running a good nightclub.

"You're going to always get to the point where there is no business or low business," said Lipscomb.

Lipscomb has the been in the nightclub business for nearly 40 years.

"It's a proud feeling," said Lipscomb.

He said another component to his lasting career is providing good security for club goers.

"The key is you have to have people to come back," said Lipscomb.

He said about 18 security guards, including off-duty Little Rock police officers, help protect his customers. 

"It's impossible to stop everything," said Lipscomb.

Iowa State University professor Dr. Kyle Burgason and several of his classmates looked at violent crimes stats surrounding 7 of Little Rock's most popular nightclubs open until 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, between 2013 and 2015.

Burgason said the study showed club goers were more likely to be victims of crime -- outside these clubs.

"Places that serve alcohol serve as generators or attractors for the opportunity for crime," said Burgason. Get people to drink too much, their ambitions lowered they become easier targets for criminals

 The study said a 2014 LR city ordinance requiring clubs opened until 5 a.m., to have at least 2 off-duty officers on hand after midnight, helped reduce crime about 40 percent in a mile -radius of the clubs, between 2014 and 2015.

"One of the theories it might work so well is that trained ... Academy trained on how to talk down and de-escalade situations," said Burgason.

Whether people are inside or outside, Lipscomb said if people know they're safe, they'll be able to have a good time.

"You get 680 in there buying food and buying drinks, you want that to continue," said Lipscomb.

Burgason said there were other possible contributing factors to the drop in crime around nightclubs like added lights.
2016's numbers will be added to the study once they get crime stats from LRPD.



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