The public are being asked their views on how new powers to tackle problems associated with late night drinking can best be targeted in towns and communities around the country.
The consultation, ‘dealing with the problems of late night drinking’, launched today by minister for crime prevention and antisocial behaviour reduction Lord Henley, looks at the implementation of two new powers contained in the police reform and social responsibility act 2011.
The measures, due to be implemented in the autumn, will empower local communities by:
allowing local authorities to charge a levy for late-night licences to contribute to the cost of extra policing;
extending Early Morning Restriction Orders (EMROs), a power that will allow licensing authorities to restrict the sale of alcohol in all or part of their areas, to any time between midnight and 6am.
The 12-week consultation seeks to identify the types of premises, for example hotels, cinemas and community venues, which could be exempted or eligible for a reduction in levy charges if they are viewed as having a minimal effect on alcohol-related crime and disorder.
The public, licensing authorities, the licensed trade and police are all encouraged to contribute their views.
Lord Henley said:
‘Alcohol-related crime and disorder is a problem for many of our communities. These new measures give power back to local areas so they can respond to their individual needs.
‘But we also recognise that some types of premises that open late to serve alcohol do not contribute to late night drinking problems and should not be unduly penalised. That is why we are seeking views on whether they should be exempt or see a reduction in fees.
‘We are keen to hear from anyone who is affected by these new powers to help inform our plans to ensure the premises we have proposed are the right ones.”
Notes to editors
1. The consultation, ‘dealing with the problems of late night drinking - a consultation on secondary legislation for the late night levy and early morning restriction orders’ can be found on the Home Office website at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/late-night-drinking/
2. An EMRO is a power introduced by the previous government that was not commenced. An EMRO enables licensing authorities to restrict the sale of alcohol in the whole or part of their areas between 3am and 6am on all or some days. The police reform & social responsibility act 2011 amends this to allow EMROs to be applied more flexibly to problem areas between midnight and 6am.
3. The late night levy will allow local authorities that choose to adopt it to charge for late night licences to pay for the cost of extra policing. At least 70 per cent of the levy will go directly to the police, with the remainder retained by the local authority. Local areas will also decide which of the available categories of exemptions and reductions will apply.
4. The government is also consulting on the process that areas would need to follow when adopting these new measures, as well as the type of services local authorities may fund from their portion of the levy and whether to allow exemptions for new year’s eve.
5. The two powers were consulted on as part of the ‘rebalancing the licensing act’ consultation (summer 2010) http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/alcohol/rebalancing-consultation/, and introduced in the police reform and social responsibility act (september 2011) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/13/introduction/enacted
For more information contact the Home Office press office on 020 7035 3535.