A report by licensing law firm John Gaunt on the impact of the levies — which are currently active in seven local authorities across the UK — stated: “In general, crime figures appear to be unaffected, with alcohol related crime continuing to drop in line with average yearly rates, flat line or in the case of Newcastle, increase.”
Alcohol related crime in the Newcastle LNL area increased in the first year of the levy, which was in line with the wider Northumbria police region.
The LNL is an annual charge payable by licensed premises open between midnight and 6am as a contribution towards the cost of late-night policing and clean-up.
British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds reiterated her concerns about the measure. She said: “The BBPA has always been concerned that the late-night levy would be a real partnership between local authorities and pubs.
In effect, it’s a tax and penalises responsible operators as well as reducing flexibility for those who had late hours for the occasional event and now will have to pay for a temporary event notice.
“It is far better for local authorities to work collaboratively with pubs and bars to find the right targeted solutions for local communities.”
Earlier this year senior trade figures called for the Government to review the powers after a freedom of information request from Poppleston Allen revealed Cheltenham Borough Council has raised less than half of the money expected from the fee.
Last week police in Brighton made a formal request to the council to introduce a LNL. A decision on whether to hold a consultation will be made in November.