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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 November 2006, 15:37 GMT
Violence down since 24-hour drink
Brighton alone has more than 1,300 licensed premises
Drink-fuelled violence and public nuisance incidents have fallen in Sussex since 24-hour drinking laws came into force a year ago, police say.

Almost 1,000 fewer people have been injured as a result of violence in public places since changes to the legislation on 24 November 2005.

East Sussex had 400 fewer and Brighton and West Sussex both had 292 fewer incidents.

Sussex Police said it was thanks to a "robust" response to the legislation.

The force has worked closely with licensees and councils to ensure any problems have been tackled.

'Very damaging'

"Concerns over 24-hour drinking leading to a significant increase in alcohol-fuelled violence and public nuisance have not materialised," said Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Paine.

The force launched its Enough campaign to clamp down on anti-social behaviour and under-age drinking before the licensing changes came into force.

"We still have long way to go as binge drinking is a national phenomenon which requires a cultural shift," said Mr Paine.

"Anti-social behaviour associated with drinking, particularly amongst the young, is very damaging and remains a significant issue."

In Brighton, which has more than 1,300 licensed premises, many bars and pubs have extended their opening hours but only a "handful" have 24-hour licences.

Penalties issued

A police spokeswoman said the changes had been handled responsibly and overall the new regulations have had a "positive effect".

The city's Best Bar None award scheme had given pubs, clubs and bars an incentive to raise standards.

Across the county, police and trading standards had targeted off licences and pubs to prevent sales of alcohol to underage drinkers.

A proactive approach to anti-social behaviour had included handing out on-the spot penalties for being drunk in a public place or using threatening or abusive behaviour.


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