During a 10-mintue rule motion, Ian Lucas MP for Wrexham said: “I am confident that more can be done at Government level to raise awareness and to prevent the occurrence of future violent incidents caused by glass bottles. The Government need to ensure that local authorities and licensing authorities use the powers they have to promote the use of plastic bottles in bars and clubs where there is a history of violence and glassing incidents.”
He said glass-free on Friday and Saturday nights after 10pm in Newport city centre saw glass and bottle attacks in the Gwent area fall from 53 in 2006-07 to 16 between April and December 2011.
Lucas said: “Newport city council used the Licensing Act 2003, and other local authorities need to be encouraged to do the same.”
The Labour MP added: “Polycarbonate makes a durable type of plastic bottle and is extremely difficult to break. If glasses and bottles were replaced, I am quite certain that even if the number of violent incidents did not decrease their severity would decrease substantially.”
However, Phillip Davies MP for Shipley opposed the bill. He said that Lucas is “dealing with the issue in completely the wrong way”.
Shipley said: “The practicalities involved in banning glasses and glass bottles mean that such a measure would be virtually impossible to implement across the country. It may be easy to control the use of glasses, but what would happen to wine, Champagne, beer or coke bottles? Will they be banned from the premises in case somebody gets their hands on them? What about glass tables – are we going to get rid of those too?”
He explained that a police officer has complained that he has had everything thrown at him – chairs, tables, frying pans and knives.
Shipley added: “Perhaps the hon. Member for Wrexham will seek to prevent tables, chairs, frying pans, knives, forks or anything else from being used in bars or pubs in case some thug gets their hands on them and starts trying to assault people. Where on earth would it end?”
The house said that the bill should be presented and that it should have a second reading on 26 October.