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New fines welcome, but Government should put 24 hour drinking on hold

April 1, 2005 5:40 PM

Parmjit Singh Gill MP, Member of Parliament for Leicester South, responding to new moves by the Government to fine bar staff who serve drunken customers, said:

"After 8 years of failing to act, the Government are finally getting to grips with the problems associated with binge drinking.

"Surely what they should do next is to put on hold moves toward 24-hour drinking to see if these new measures are effective."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1. Last year leaked Home Office papers claimed drunken street violence was out of control,

"Drunken street violence out of control, admits government"

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1037700,00.html

2. Parmjit Singh Gill was one of only ten signatories of an amendment to the Licensing Act, tabled in Parliament on the 25th January 2005 calling for a delay in its implementation. This was due to the serious concerns expressed by doctors, senior police officers and members of the judiciary that the Act will lead to increased health and policing problems. The amendment is as follows and is available online.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmagenda/ob050125.htm

Main Business

4 OPPOSITION DAY (3rd allotted day)

[Until 7.00 p.m.]

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LICENSING ACT 2003

Mr Michael Howard

David Davis

Mr John Whittingdale

Mrs Cheryl Gillan

Mr Malcolm Moss

David Maclean

Mr Mark Oaten

Mr Parmjit Singh GillMr Don FosterSimon Hughes

That this House calls for a delay in the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003 in the light of concerns expressed by doctors, senior police officers and members of the judiciary that the Act will lead to increased health and policing problems; is concerned about the increase in violent crimes since 1998, half of which are attributed to alcohol misuse; recognises that drunken revellers are turning town and city centres into no-go areas, thus putting an increasing burden on health and police resources, and predicts that the implementation of the Act will exacerbate these problems; is further concerned about increased alcohol consumption and believes that extended opening hours will have an adverse serious effect on health of the nation; and regrets that the Government has fundamentally failed to deal with the problem of binge drinking before proceeding with the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003.

3. Home Office Minister, today announced that under 18s who buy alcohol will face a £50 on-the-spot fine under new police powers.. Two new penalty notices for disorder (PND) being introduced on Monday 4 April are planned to help police tackle the sale of alcohol to people who are under 18 or drunk. The Home Office Press Release is available online:

"JOINT CRACKDOWN ON UNDERAGE DRINKING"

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/n_story.asp?item_id=1288