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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 January, 2005, 09:21 GMT
Police concern over 24-hour pubs
Mike Fuller, Kent Police chief constable
Mr Fuller said the proposed change would stretch police resources
Twenty four-hour drinking would lead to more violence, disturbance for residents and an increase in police costs, a top police officer has said.

Mike Fuller, Chief Constable of Kent, said the change would just spread problems over a wider time period.

He is to join other chief constables in meeting with Home Secretary Charles Clarke to outline their concerns.

Changes in licensing laws later this year could see pubs open 24 hours a day at the discretion of local councils.

We have groups of young people who sometimes go out specifically to get drunk
Mike Fuller, Chief Constable, Kent Police

Mr Fuller said the prospect of an end to drinkers all leaving pubs at the same time at the end of the night would be a benefit, but said the move would cause problems.

He said: "At the moment a lot of the violence and disorder and the calls we get from members of the public stop, or quieten down, around 0200.

"With 24-hour drinking I'm concerned that we'll see a lot of these problems just extended over a longer period."

Asked why he was concerned about 24-hour drinking in the UK when it is commonplace in continental Europe, Mr Fuller pointed out a difference in drinking cultures.

"We have groups of young people who sometimes go out specifically to get drunk.

"In Europe people go out as families and they drink with a meal - the drinking culture is very different to what we have in this country."

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