Alcohol licensing consultation
We've launched a consultation to ask for your opinions on government plans to overhaul the current licensing regime, to give more power to local authorities and police to help them fight alcohol-related crime.
Comment online now
You can tell us what you think about the new plans by filling in our online form (new window).
Who we want to hear from
We want to hear from everyone who will be affected by the changes, including members of the public who drink alcohol; those who have been affected by alcohol-related crime; those who work in pubs, clubs, supermarkets and shops; criminal justice agencys; licensing authorities; and trade associations representing those who produce and sell alcohol.
Background to the consultation
Alcohol-related crime and disorder is thought to cost the taxpayer between £8bn - £13bn every year. There are 6.6 million attendances at hospital accident and emergency every year due to alcohol, costing £645m. In 2009-10 almost one million violent crimes were attributed to alcohol. The police are fighting a constant and expensive battle to stop this type of crime and antisocial behaviour.
While the majority of people drink responsibly, not enough has been done to help local communities take action against those people who do not drink responsibly. It is vital that communities have the powers they need to tackle alcohol-related crime and antisocial behaviour. Current legislation is not doing enough to deal with these problems, while local authorities have had their hands tied by an overly bureaucratic licensing regime.
The government's Coalition Agreement set out a clear agenda for reforming alcohol licensing, in order to deal with the crime and disorder commonly associated with drinking in our society. The agreement includes:
- overhauling the Licensing Act to give local authorities and the police much stronger powers to remove licences from, or refuse to grant licences to premises that are causing problems
- allowing councils and the police to permanently shut down any shop or bar that is repeatedly selling alcohol to children
- doubling the maximum fine for those caught selling alcohol to minors to £20,000
- allowing local councils to charge more for late-night licences, which will help pay for additional policing
- banning the sale of alcohol below cost price
This consultation is looking for your views on the proposals outlined in the government's Coalition Agreement. We're interested in what you think the implications of implementing the proposals will be, rather than your views on the commitments themselves.
The consultation runs for 6 weeks, closing on the 8 September 2010 and covers England and Wales, where the proposals apply.