The media hysteria that drove the New South Wales government to crack down on a supposed epidemic of alcohol-driven violence in inner Sydney over summer occurred as assaults fell to their lowest level in the city since the 1990s.

New figures for the last quarter of 2013 for NSW, released at the start of April by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, were mostly ignored by the media, and particularly Fairfax, whose journalists and editors campaigned hard in January to portray Sydney as swamped by a rising tide of violence and drinking. The O'Farrell government eventually succumbed to the campaign and brought in arbitrary new drinking restrictions, minimum sentences for some offences (the proposed minimum sentences remain stalled in the NSW Legislative Council), and elevated sentences associated with steroid sales to levels equivalent to hard narcotics.