It has been suspected for some time that alcohol is involved in the origin of offensive behaviour and property damage incidents. Using regression analyses and a cross-sectional design, this study investigates these relationships for both Sydney and country New South Wales (NSW), whilst controlling for key social and demographic variables. The study found that both offence types occurred more frequently in areas with greater sales of alcohol. The effect of alcohol sales was considerably larger in Sydney than it was in country NSW. There was an interaction between aboriginal population size and alcohol sales for country NSW offensive behaviour data. Overall, these findings are consistent with alcohol consumption playing a causal role in these offences, however, the possibility remains that alcohol sales may be acting as an indicator of criminal opportunity. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.