Press release

New powers to help pay £11bn alcohol crime bill

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

New powers to help pay the nation’s £11bn a year bill for alcohol-related crime and disorder come into effect next week.

The measures will give local authorities the opportunity to ensure those selling alcohol help pay towards the costs of cleaning up and policing the effects of excessive drinking in towns and cities across the country, as well as restrict the sale of alcohol in the early hours. From 31 October local authorities will have the discretion to:

  • charge a levy for late night licences to contribute to the costs linked to late night drinking, such as extra policing and street cleaning;
  • introduce an early morning restriction order (EMRO) to restrict the sale of alcohol between midnight and 6am

Figures reveal that almost half (44 per cent) of all violent crime is carried out by people under the influence of alcohol and 67 per cent of violent incidents occur in the evening.
Minister for crime prevention Jeremy Browne said:

‘These measures are not about stopping responsible drinking but designed to tackle the minority who cause alcohol-related crime and disorder in our local communities.

‘It is reasonable to expect those profiting from the sale of alcohol to help pay the costs of policing, rather than expecting taxpayers to foot the entire bill.’

Both powers have been introduced as part of the police reform and social responsibility act 2011 and our estimates suggest that these measures could generate approximately £17m per year in England in Wales, with at least 70 per cent of that figure going to police and the remainder to local authorities.

Jeremy Browne added:

‘The new measures form part of the government’s alcohol strategy which aims to turn the tide against irresponsible drinking. Our plans include the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol and a ban on multi-buy promotions. We will consult on these measures later this autumn.’

Notes to editors:

1. An EMRO is an un-commenced power in the licensing act 2003 that will enable licensing authorities to restrict sales of alcohol in the whole or a part of their areas for any specified period between 12 midnight and 6 am, if they consider this appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives.

2. The late night levy will enable licensing authorities to raise a contribution from late-opening alcohol suppliers towards policing the night-time economy. It will be a local power which licensing authorities can choose whether or not to exercise. It must cover the whole of the licensing authority’s area. However, the licensing authority will also choose the period during which the levy applies every night, between midnight and 6am, and decide what exemptions and reductions should apply (if any) from a list set out in regulations.

3. Factsheets on various alcohol proposals can be found here:

4. The response to the consultation can be found on the home office website at:

5. The two powers were consulted on as part of the ‘rebalancing the licensing act’ consultation (Summer 2010), and introduced in the police reform and social responsibility act (September 2011)

6. The government’s alcohol strategy can be found at:

7. For more information contact the home office press office on 020 7035 3535.