CHICAGO (CBS) — A researcher has found a significant connection between shootings on the South and West Sides and the locations of liquor stores.

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Police and neighborhood activists have long said that liquor stores are a breeding ground for crime and gangs, attracting criminals who tend to loiter outside.

Now a researcher as taken a look at crime data and the locations of liquor stores to determine just how much violent crime is linked to those locations.

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Northwestern University Medical Center trauma surgeon Marie Crandall looked at census and liquor store locations and shooting victim data over a 10-year period.

She found that people in certain communities are 500 times more likely to be shot if they are near a liquor store than any other part of the community.

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Crandall said the study could open up discussions about the availability of alcohol in city neighborhoods already suffering from poverty, crime and a lack of access to good, healthy food.