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Home Office introduces new powers to curb drunken violence.

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There has long been concern about alcohol-fuelled violence and disorder as a result of late night drinking.  The Government has introduced draft legislation in the form of a bill to introduce the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, which seeks to introduce 2 main measures to reduce binge drinking:

  • the use of early morning alcohol restriction orders (EMROs) to limit the sale of alcohol in specified areas between midnight and 6am
  • to be able to apply a levy to late night licences which will contribute toward the costs of policing, street cleaning and other attendant costs to the community of excessive drinking.

Among other unrelated provisions the bill seeks to amend and supplement the Licensing Act 2003 with the intention of ‘rebalancing’ it in favour of local authorities, the police and local communities.

The Government apparently have a new alcohol strategy to crack down on what is seen to be a binge drinking culture, with the ready availability of cheap alcohol and what it describes as irresponsible drinks promotions, which it believes will greatly reduce the number of people who drink to excess.

The Minister for Crime Prevention and Antisocial Behaviour Reduction, Lord Henley said: 'The government is radically reshaping its approach to crime and policing by giving back powers to local communities so they can reclaim their high streets'.

Whilst the measures will almost certainly be welcomed, it would seem that it will be for the individual local authorities to implement and enforce them, and it will be interesting to see what will no doubt be a wide variation in the use of the powers across the country.

The above article is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.