ADZs 'a last resort' says Gov't

By Iain O'Neil

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Alcohol disorder zones Human rights

ADZs 'a last resort' says Gov't
Police say they will be too "bureaucratic and burdensome" to use.

Alcohol Disorder Zones (ADZs) should be used only as a "last resort" according to consultation papers which came out of Parliament on Monday.

According to reports, the papers say ADZs, where pubs and clubs would be forced to pay for extra policing, risk breaching human rights laws.

Police and local authorities must exhaust all other possibilities before considering an ADZ.

If it is this bureaucratic and burdensome, police will never use these zones or attempt to use them​Vice chairman of the Police Federation Alan Gordon

Vice chairman of the Police Federation Alan Gordon accused the Government of "deceit" saying it had linked the relaxation of the licensing laws to the powers they are now unlikely to use because of the paperwork involved.

He told the Evening Standard: "If it is this bureaucratic and burdensome, police will never use these zones or attempt to use them.

"The Government made great play of the additional powers they were going to give the police.

"To make them so bureaucratic they are nearly impossible to use is being deceitful in what was involved in 24/7 drinking in the first place."

The Home Office said it had to be careful that human rights laws are not breached, saying zones must be declared only in extreme circumstances where all other options had failed.

A spokesman told the paper: "As it is a last resort, there are some hurdles to go over.

"People can respond to the consultation if they think it is too bureaucratic."

However, shadow home secretary David Davis said: "Labour waxed lyrical about these 'zones' when they were preparing to unleash 24-hour drinking on our towns and cities, claiming they would be a real weapon in the fight against alcohol-fuelled disorder.

"Now we see that as a consequence of Labour's incompetence...these zones will not come into force."

The consultation documents said no less than 15 times that the zones should be a "last resort".

They warn that charging a pub or club for disturbance amounts to an interference with property rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.


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