24-hour drinking here to stay4th March 2008
According to a government review, the laws allowing all day and night alcohol consumption have led to a reduction in crime, but not on a "consistent" basis.
Although the numbers of crimes committed and the amount of drinking have been cut overall, some areas reported an increase in violent crime connected with drinking in the early morning.
The 2005 Licensing Act, according to the Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, "has not led to the widespread problems some feared".
The law enables bars and clubs in England and Wales to submit applications for late and 24-hour alcohol licenses.
The review showed that a very low number of establishments - only 4% (5,100) - had submitted an application for all day and night opening.
470 establishments were currently open for 24 hours. On average, the time licensed premises closed had increased by 21 minutes.
Statistics showed a 1% drop in overall crime and a 10% fall in violent crime since the new laws were introduced.
However an increased number of offences were committed in the early morning between 3am and 6am. Mr Burnham said there was not a "clear picture" regarding hospital admissions for drinking, with some
hospitals seeing a "fall in demand" and others reporting "an increase."
"Our main conclusion is that people are using the freedoms but people are not sufficiently using the considerable powers granted by the Act to tackle problems," Mr Burnham said.
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Title: 24-hour drinking here to stay
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5857
Date Added: 4th Mar 2008