CALLS TO REVOKE 24 HOUR DRINKING LAW – The law that allows pubs and clubs to open 24 hours a day was the brainchild of the previous Labour Government.
So keen were they to pass this law that during the 2001 General Election they initiated a campaign to court young voters by sending a text message that read:
“Don’t give a XXXX for last orders – vote Labour for extra time.”
As a result a law was passed by the Blair Government in 2005 allowing pubs and clubs to stay open 24 hours a day.
It is incredible to think that any political party would stoop so low as to garner votes but what is more interesting is that such a campaign could have been viewed as little more than a referendum.
If such a practice could be used in order to support extended licencing hours then what is our Government’s excuse for refusing a referendum on the EU before it’s too late?
It could be argued that sending out a text message in support of an in/out EU vote is not overly practical but the internet is certainly capable of handling such a task.
The truth here is that this Government or any other political party (apart from UKIP) really doesn’t want to pull out of the EU as this is their meal ticket when the public finally vote them out.
Back to the issue… 24 hour drinking law. The extended licencing hours were highly contested, not just by opposing political parties but also by the police, social experts and the general public.
Many of us who live in and around the cities are often subjected to the noise and disruption of late night drunks and police are now calling on the Government to change the licencing hours back to closing at sensible times.
Police chiefs have branded the 24 hour drinking law absurd and a terrible mistake as their time is being wasted by having to cope with late-night revelers who are over intoxicated and therefore are required to care for them by placing them in police cells overnight or taking them to hospital.
In a recent police survey some 95 per cent noted that dealing with drunks is a complete waste of time. As for the solution, many are suggesting that the police should able to create ‘drunk tanks’ in key areas and hold drunks in them until they sober up.
It is also suggested that drunks held in ‘drunk tanks’ pay a fee of £400 in order to help recoup the costs of the drunk tanks and police time. Some police chiefs are even suggesting that such a scheme could be run by a private company and that fees be levied through fines.
Drunk tanks are already widely used in other European countries and would be one solution in dealing with late-night drunks.
So what is the scale of the problem? Since 2005 police have issued an estimated 400,000 fines against people for drunk and disorderly behaviour and the situation is not improving. Some coalition ministers have attempted to limited the issue due to the change but have not taken steps in returning to more traditional closing times.
Regardless to the fines imposed Jeremy Browne, Crime Prevention Minister, revealed that alcohol-fueled crime is now costing the British taxpayer, across England and Wales, nearly £11 billion a year.