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Alcohol related crime drops after introduction of new licensing laws

08 February 2006
Alcohol related crime drops after introduction of new licensing laws

Alcohol related crime has fallen in the months after the introduction of new licensing laws in England and Wales, according to the latest Home Office figures.

Figures from the six-week Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaign (AMEC), which ran from November through the Christmas period, showed violent crime was down 11%.

Critics of the licensing liberalisation, which began on the 24 November, had predicted longer opening hours would lead to soaring levels of violence as binge drinkers drank around the clock.

However, the new figures show this has not been the case.

Serious violent crime related to alcohol fell 21% during the period, which was the biggest drop of all previous alcohol crackdowns.

Mark Hastings, director of Communications at the British Beer & Pub Association, said: "Clearly, the combination of flexible opening hours and law enforcement is having a positive impact. The projections of Government and the industry have proved far closer to the truth than the prophesies of the peddlers of doom and gloom."

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell said: "Thanks to the new licensing laws, the police and local authorities have joined forces to use tougher powers to deal with the problem disorder] at source."

By Chris Druce

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