BBPA speaks out over pay-for-policing

Related tags Metropolitan police service

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has reacted angrily to calls from an MP that pubs should pay for policing.In a letter to John Denham,...

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has reacted angrily to calls from an MP that pubs should pay for policing.

In a letter to John Denham, chairman of the commons home affairs select committee, the organisation says pubs should not pick up the cost of funding police as was recently suggested by the MP at the Institute of Licensing Conference in Blackpool.

Mr Denham had stated businesses that "give rise to certain types of crime should make a greater contribution towards the costs of policing".

This followed an interview in the Financial Times in which Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police commissioner designate, said there was a pressing need for the industry to take a tougher line on dealing with the issues of alcohol-related violence in city centres.

In response, Lee Le Clercq, secretary of the BBPA's North of England office, who penned the letter, reminded Mr Denham of the financial contribution pubs already make to their communities through other taxes.

"You are probably not aware that the amount of alcohol duty currently paid to the government by the North West industry alone is equivalent to it handing over a cheque for £51,000 to every North West local authority, every day," wrote Mr Le Clercq.

"I am not referring to business rates or VAT here. We pay those as well, just as most businesses do. No, I am referring to a tax on the industry simply because it produces and trades alcohol. Unfortunately, these huge sums are swallowed up by the Exchequer and do not, it seems, find their way down to fulfilling local needs.

"But when we hear that the brewers should pay for this and the pubs should pay for that or when the call goes out that the polluter should pay, we fully agree Mr Denham. But let us not lose sight of the fact that we already do - on a truly massive scale."

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