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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 05:59 GMT 06:59 UK
Binge drink promos 'to end'
Alcohol-related violence graphic
Most licensees in Blackpool have welcomed the initiative
A scheme to stop binge-drinking 'promotions' in Blackpool's pubs and clubs was starting on Thursday.

Lancashire Police believe discounted drinks available in the town are contributing to increased levels of violence.

The "Responsible Discounting Policy" aims to help communities in Blackpool and the Fylde who say the problems have become unacceptable.

The guidelines were drawn up by Nightsafe, an inter-agency initiative, during a meeting attended by pub and club landlords.

Superintendent Andy Rhodes, who leads the initiative, said: "In an environment where discounted drinks promotions are the norm, everybody suffers.

Our premises should be judged on entertainment and not have to compete in a cheap drinks market
Peter Clarke, nightclub owner
"Levels of violence increase, public service resources and strained and private sector profits fall across the board.

"The management of licensed premises can have a significant impact upon the number of violent incidents in and around their premises in order to impact on the levels of violent crime in our town centres."

Joe Curran, chair of Blackpool Licensees' Forum, said the policy will enable the development of a "sensible pricing structure" in the town, which the forum has been campaigning for since 2000.

"The vast majority of licensees will welcome this agreement as they firmly believe it will have a major impact in the reduction of violent crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour," he said.

'No speed-drinking'

Peter Clarke, owner of the Heaven and Hell Nightclub, said: "I agree with a level playing field and totally agree that our premises should be judged on entertainment and not have to compete in a cheap drinks market."

The conditions of the policy include:

  • No "drink all you can drink for a fixed entry fee" promotions

  • No discounting at all on Friday or Saturday evenings after 2000 BST

  • No games involving speed-drinking

  • No promotions such as 1 a pint in circumstances likely to lead to binge drinking occurring.

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