Crime and disorder sparked by late night drinking in a Norfolk seaside resort could be tackled with new measures that restrict the sale of alcohol and charge business more to serve in the early hours.

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In a bid to tackle the problems caused by late night drinking, the government has introduced new legislation, which gives local authorities the power to impose early morning restriction orders and late night levies.

And members of Great Yarmouth Borough Council are set to discuss the clampdown measures this week.

Restriction orders allow councils to ban the sale of alcohol for a period of time between the hours of midnight and 6am and aim to curb “recurring problems” such as drink-fuelled crimes, anti-social behaviour and incidents of serious public nuisance.

The levy, meanwhile gives authorities the right to charge more for late night licences but if introduced all premises that serve in the early hours would be affected.

If introduced, 70pc of the extra charge would be paid to the police with the remaining 30pc ring-fenced to be spent on initiatives to further tackle alcohol-related crime.

The council’s licensing committee, which meets on Thursday, is now being encouraged to launch a consultation with bar and club owners over the introduction of the new measures.

A council report describes the restriction order as a “powerful tool” and warns both powers could have a “major economic effect” on businesses.

It adds: “A restriction order may be an effective tool for dealing with localised issues as it can be targeted at the areas which most need them. However, it may displace a problem rather than remove it.

“They levy must relate to the entire area. It cannot relate to part of the area. Therefore it will impose extra economic burden on all operators.”

John Holmes, chairman of the council’s licensing committee, said talks into the orders were at a very early stage and said the first thing he wanted to do was consult with businesses to gauge feeling.

He added: “It could be a measure that could help in some areas but I think it’s got to be very carefully looked at. One of the problems I can foresee is the fact we’re a seaside town, we’re a family resort but also we’re trying to stimulate some night time economy.

“I think there’s a problem we could be facing trying to have it both ways. We do have some problems but it’s fairly isolated.”

Mr Holmes was keen to see if business owners would enter a voluntary scheme, whereby they would agree to restrict their serving hours. He said this method is being trialled in Norwich and he was interested to see the results.

7 comments

  • The is no need, what so ever that anyone should still be consuming alcohol in a venue until 6am. I feel for the residents who live near by to wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning to be face with the drunk making their way home. 2am is late enough for anyone even those out for the night. They venues make little if any money in the small hours after paying their overheads and only stay open because the club next door has each scrapping of a few customers. No more !

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    richard green

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Surely there are sufficient "Powers" already in existence??

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • This one is going to be very interesting into how it plays out because the leader of the Tories on the council is Ron Hanton who still maybe for all I know is Norfolk Polices licensing officer for the Borough who oversaw the introduction of many of these all night licences. I hope he declares his interest and rather a large omission by the author of this piece don`t you think. Anyway all night drinking was a disaster right from the start but then it was just another PM who thought he was being trendy at the time.

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    BG

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • The easy way to make the retailers of this chaos act more responsibly would be to charge them for the police and emergency service support in much the way soccer clubs are charged.

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    Richard Woods

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Have a look at the weekly crime pages in the "Yarmouth Mercury" there is NOT a major binge drinking violence fuelled late night problem in the town. Not everyone goes to bed with a book and a hot chocolate at 9pm each night and this is one of the top few Seaside resorts in the country. The night time economy is important to the town's holiday industry. Because no where else in Norfolk has all-night Casinos and the like makes it difficult to get Yarmouth's needs reflected sensibly in any overall Norfolk approach.

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    Mick Castle

    Sunday, December 16, 2012

  • Voluntary scheme? They won't do that. Too much greed on the seafront. bring in new restrictions and raise the price of a licence at least 10 fold to incorporate the damage the drunks cause and as for the police, start removing the licences of these clubs that always have trouble, not, removing the licences of pubs.

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    "V"

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Correct M.B.- this is an opportunistic attempt to disguise revenue raising legislation as a clampdown on crime & antisocial behaviour. We already have sufficient laws to deal with such things - all we need is the determination to use them.

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    Tudor Bushe

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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