Labour’s 24-hour drinking policy backfires

Since the government introduced round-the-clock licensing, nearly half of all violent crimes have been linked to alcohol abuse…

Labour’s 24-hour drinking policy – introduced to reduce violence and lead to the creation of a ‘relaxed, continental café style culture’ – has apparently backfired, according to a secret government report.

The leaked report says that nearly half of all violent crimes – 47% – are linked to alcohol abuse, and cited as alcohol-related by victims.

For stranger violence – the type feared most by the public – this rises to 62% of people saying their attacker was under the influence of alcohol. And heavy drinking, defined as twice the recommended daily limit, is being reported by 36% of prisoners arriving in jail.

In a further embarrassment for ministers, a second study revealed the cost of policing Labour’s late-night drinking economy is adding £100million to the police overtime bill. Critics said it was hypocritical of Labour to attack police spending on overtime, when one of the main causes of this expenditure was the government’s own 24-hour drinking policy.

At the same time, owners of bars and clubs face now six months in jail if they allow ‘all you can drink’ alcohol deals, under new measures to combat binge drinking.

From today irresponsible promotions including ‘all you can drink for £10‘ deals, women drink free deals and speed drinking competitions will be banned, Home Office minister Alan Campbell said.

In a third measure bars and clubs will be forced to ensure that tap water is available, free of charge, for all drinkers.

Mr Campbell said: ‘Alcohol-related crime costs the UK billions of pounds every year and while the vast majority of retailers are responsible, a minority continue to run irresponsible promotions which fuel the excessive drinking that leads to alcohol-related crime and disorder.

‘The code will see an end to these promotions and ensure premises check the ID of those who appear to be underage helping to make our towns and city centres safer places for those who just want to enjoy a good night out.’

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