Plymouth licensees could share cost of policing drinkers
POWERS come into force next week aimed at helping pay the bill for booze-fuelled trouble in Plymouth.
The measures will give the city council the option to ensure those selling alcohol contribute towards the costs of cleaning up and policing the fall-out from binge-drinking as well as restricting its sale in the early hours.
From next Wednesday, October 31, local authorities will have the chance to charge a levy for late night licences to contribute to the costs linked to late night drinking, such as extra policing and street cleaning.
They will also be able to introduce an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) to restrict the sale of alcohol between midnight and 6am.
Figures reveal that almost half (44 per cent) of all violent crime is carried out by people under the influence of alcohol and 67 per cent of violent incidents occur in the evening.
Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne said: "These measures are not about stopping responsible drinking but designed to tackle the minority who cause alcohol-related crime and disorder in our local communities.
"It is reasonable to expect those profiting from the sale of alcohol to help pay the costs of policing, rather than expecting taxpayers to foot the entire bill."
Both powers are being introduced as part of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.
Home Office estimates indicate the measures could generate approximately £17 million a year in England in Wales, with at least 70 per cent of that figure going to police and the remainder to local authorities.
Mr Browne added: "The new measures form part of the Government's alcohol strategy which aims to turn the tide against irresponsible drinking. Our plans include the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol and a ban on multi-buy promotions."
An EMRO will enable licensing authorities to restrict sales of alcohol in the whole or a part of their areas for any specified period between 12 midnight and 6 am.
The late night levy will allow authorities to raise a contribution from late-opening pubs, clubs, and bars.
While this must cover the whole area if introduced, the licensing authority will choose the time period when the levy applies at night, and decide on any exemptions and reductions.