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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 06:25 GMT 07:25 UK
Drink laws 'prompt lower crime'
Beer taps
24-hour drinking laws came into effect in 2005
Late-night crime has fallen since 24-hour drinking laws came into effect in central London, a council has said.

Westminster Council said the number of violent incidents reported in the West End and Soho fell by 11% in a year.

The reduction in incidents was due to its tough local policy and targeted enforcement, the council said.

A consultation has now been launched to revise its licensing policy trends show as incidents are lower in restaurants than in pubs and clubs, it added.

'Robust tool'

Police figures show that the total number of violent crime reports between midnight and 0400 BST has come down since 2006.

Pubs are twice more likely and clubs are 14 times more likely to report violent incidents compared to restaurants.

Councillor Audrey Lewis, cabinet member for community protection and licensing said: "We believe our present policies for pubs and clubs are successfully working and have proven to be a robust tool for the consideration and determination of licences.

"This has been demonstrated by the reduction in late-night violence by 11%.

"What we are seeking to do is tweak the present guidelines in favour of restaurants," he said.

The council is proposing to maintain its "stress area" where no new pubs or clubs will be granted licenses and the permit will also depend on whether it may lead to anti-social behaviour in the area or inconvenience residents.

The consultation ends on 21 September.




SEE ALSO
Review of 24-hour drinking laws
23 Jul 07 |  UK Politics
Violence down since 24-hour drink
16 Nov 06 |  Southern Counties
Storm in a pint glass
23 May 06 |  Magazine

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