The small number of 24-hour licences awarded in England and Wales rose only marginally in the 12 months to 31 March, official figures revealed today.
The Department for Culture Media and Sport said there was a 5% increase in the total number of premises licenses in England and Wales, up to more than 190,000.
Of these, there are more than 6,000 24-hour alcohol licences (2007: 5,100), although the bulk of these are held by supermarkets and stores.
Some 1,300 hotel bars have 24-hour licences (2007: 910) and just 580 pubs, bars and clubs (2007: 460).
The statistics also show there were more than 1,000 licence reviews in the year with 160 licences revoked; 170 suspended; 160 premises forced to change their trading hours; and 620 premises that had conditions placed on their licences.
Licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: "So again the predicted explosion in 24-hour drinking has failed to materialise. What we have seen though is a significant increase in the use of police powers to tackle problem premises."
By Chris Druce
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