Trade slams Home Office statistics

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcohol disorder zones, Beer, Crime, Violence, Pub association

Trade leaders have condemned scare tactics by the government which could deter customers from visiting pubs.The British Beer and Pub Association...

Trade leaders have condemned scare tactics by the government which could deter customers from visiting pubs.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said a claim by the Home Office that pub goers run a higher risk of violent attack "totally misrepresents" the true picture.

The British Crime Survey 2004/05 said that regular pub-goers are more likely to experience stranger violence - at 3.2 per cent, compared to just 0.6 per cent for those who had not been to a pub.

In response, Home Secretary Charles Clarke has pledged that new powers in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill, including plans for alcohol disorder zones, will tackle the problem.

Mark Hastings, spokesman for the BBPA, said: "Not for the first time the Home Office presents a unique interpretation of statistics which totally misrepresents the true story.

"The assaults they are recording are on the street, not in the pub, therefore the increase in your risk of being assaulted has nothing to do with whether or not you go to the pub. It's whether or not you go out at all."

He added that its is "hardly a surprise" that people who go out are more at risk of assault by strangers than those who stay at home.

Lobby group Alcohol Concern said the latest crime figures point to an urgent need tackle the causes of drink-related crime.

Chief executive Srabani Sen, said: "We welcome ideas such as Drink Banning Orders and Alcohol Disorder Zones, which may go some way in stopping incidents of violence and disorder occurring.

"However, we believe that a punitive stance is only half of the solution and must go hand in hand with a more proactive approach to tackle the root causes of binge drinking and prevent incidents of crime occurring in the first place."

Related topics: Legislation

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