Islington Calls Time On Late Night Drinking

BethPH
By BethPH Last edited 66 months ago
Islington Calls Time On Late Night Drinking

Islington council wants to tackle drink-related anti-social behaviour by imposing a charge on bars which sell alcohol after midnight.

A law passed last year, the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 means the council can charge a levy on venues which are open between midnight and 6am to help cover the cost of policing. The Late Night Levy will be introduced next June and could cost licensed businesses up to £4,000 a year.

Islington councillor Paul Convery said the authority had licenced a large number of entertainment venues in the past in a bid to profit from the late night economy. That decision has now come back to bite them — according to a police report, Islington has second-highest rate of alcohol-related violent crime in London (Westminster has the highest) and the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in London, both for under-18s and adults.

Lib Dem councillor Tracy Ismail, said:

"The main problem around anti-social behaviour at night in Islington involves pubs, bars and clubs with late-night licences. So it's really good news that the Government is giving Islington new powers to tackle the issue.

"The last Labour government's licensing reforms unfortunately created a decade-long booze free-for-all in Islington and it's time to put residents first again."

The borough's bar owners are less happy about the plans to tax them further or force them to close earlier, calling the move 'heavy handed'. All local authorities will have the power to bring in the new levy from October, but Islington is the first London borough to announce plans to implement the tax.

Photo by mumphalee in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 20 August 2012

Kay

When will the government understand that it is not about venues opening late or selling alcohol, but it is about the attitudes to drinking in the country that causes all the problems. For example, in Spain, in nightlife areas not infested with barrages of uncontrollable British youths, nightlife goes on all night into the morning and you don't witness the level of anti-social behavior that you get in the UK. The reason is simple, the British attitude to drinking is just skewed, we associate alcohol as a nation with bad behavior, so when we drink we immediately assume its okay to act bad, in this scenario alcohol has become an agent rather than a trigger. In southern europe, they view alcohol as a pro-social thing, alcohol gets people together, and so when Spanish, Greek or Cypriot youths drink, they just don't go as crazy as their counterparts in Scandinavia, Germany and Britain. The government should instead invest in social programs to change the image of alcohol in people's heads. Its okay to drink all night, but that doesn't give you the licence to go pee on neighbors cars and doors....