Police proposals 'could prevent pub closures'

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Alcohol-related crime Executive kate nicholls Crime Public house

Police proposals 'could prevent pub closures'
ALMR says new changes to police funding could lead to fewer pub closures.

Pubs and bars stand to benefit from proposed changes to police funding, with leading industry voices arguing they could even lead to fewer closures.

Under plans released by the Home Office, police forces in areas with a high density of pubs would receive greater funding in an attempt to crack down on alcohol-related crime. The proposals could mean police have less incentive to close premises or restrict trade because of the knock-on effect to their funding.

The Government argues the link between alcohol and violent crime puts added pressure on police forces and costs the UK £11bn every year.

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive Kate Nicholls gave the plans a cautious welcome but voiced concerns about the correlation between alcohol and violent crime.

“This could present us with the opportunity to foster a closer relationship between licensed premises and the police. If police can see the link between a vibrant and flourishing night-time economy and the funding they receive, this could be a positive partnership,” she said.

“However, alcohol has been placed at the top of the list of drivers of crime. It fails to mention that alcohol consumption is declining, along with alcohol-related crime and antisocial behaviour.

“Population density is also a factor. We are wary that such an emphasis on alcohol as a driver of crime across the UK may distort police priorities.”

Alan Miller, chair of the Night Time Industries Association — whose members include late-night pubs and bars — said the advantages venues bring to local areas far outweigh the negatives.

“All the evidence demonstrates serious crime is decreasing. Later licensing hours have resulted in people spreading their drinking out, and young people are drinking less than before. Where there are pubs and bars, there are enormous benefits of employment, revenue, culture and fun.”

Related topics Licensing law

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