Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said 80% of arrests in the evening were drink related and more had to be done to control the supply alcohol.
He urged councils to disregard the positive impact of pubs and the late-night sector on their economies and consider the wider implications of the availability of alcohol.
In a speech to the Royal Society of Arts in London, on the future of policing, Hogan-Howe said one solution might be to restrict the number of places where people could buy alcohol.
He said: “We need to make sure there is good control of the supply of alcohol. This means licence numbers, density and licensee-regulation being a priority for local authorities, however much they would like to develop their local economies.
“We know that many injuries occur inside or outside licensed premises, and if we can close down repeat offenders, we will.
“But do we really need as many licensed premised chasing limited business. The system needs reform and we need to police it better.”