Bournemouth may become first ADZ

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Alcohol disorder zones Tobias ellwood License Adz

The Government is set to announce further details of its controversial Alcohol Disorder Zones (ADZs) in mid-October. The announcement is believed to...

The Government is set to announce further details of its controversial Alcohol Disorder Zones (ADZs) in mid-October.

The announcement is believed to be part of an alcohol disorder-related package that will include the results of the summer's Tackling Underage Sales campaign and will coincide with the reopening of Parliament.

Any town or city wishing to implement a zone would first have to carry out a 28-day consultation with the trade, and then venues would have eight weeks to implement an action plan in an attempt to resolve the problems. It means the likely start date for any ADZ would be January 2008.

Meanwhile, fears surfaced this week that Bournemouth could be considering an ADZ after MP and shadow licensing minister Tobias Ellwood called for pubs and clubs to pay a levy towards policing - an integral component of ADZs.

"Around 20 officers are needed to police our town centre, costing around £4,000 a night," said Ellwood. "It is time to consider introducing a levy on pubs and clubs to pay for that policing.

"They would no doubt pass this on to their customers but, spread across 10,000 visitors to the town, it would be a small price to pay to keep our streets safe."

Ellwood has previously asked questions in the Commons over the amount that can be levied from premises under an ADZ.

Speculation has been further fuelled by a council document recommending talks between the council and police about ADZs.

"We are waiting for more guidance but we have always said it is not something we would just do but something we would work on with the trade," said community safety partnership officer Sian Jenkins.

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Nick Bish said an ADZ "effectively labels the area as a no-go zone and would inhibit any investment".

ADZs could be used as a threat

The threat of Alcohol Disorder Zones could be used to force pubs and clubs to accept paid-for policing - that's the stark warning from the Bar Entertainment & Dance Association.

"The bogeyman quality of the ADZ shouldn't be underestimated," said executive director Paul Smith.

"It is potentially a massive issue in driving licensees into submission. We have to say that if all sides, from a whole host of vastly different standpoints, think ADZs are a bad idea, this probably means, simply, that ADZs are a bad idea."

Smith believes the sheer threat of an ADZ may be enough to force licensees to accept onerous licence conditions and accept paid-for policing via the back door.

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