Home Office launches 10-week consultation on alcohol
The Home Office has launched a 10-week consultation on the Alcohol Strategy, which will seek views on banning multibuys and setting a minimum unit price of 45p.
The consultation will also collect views on including health as a licensing objective so that local authorities can consider alcohol health harms when granting licences, reviewing mandatory conditions and cutting red tape in the licensing system.
Home Secretary Theresa May said that while the government has already legislated for a “wide set of reforms to tackle binge drinking and the corrosive effect it has on individuals and our communities”, more work was needed to “tackle the drink fuelled antisocial behaviour and crime blighting our communities”.
It has already changed the Licensing Act to give local communities more power, introduced a late-night levy where late-opening venues pay extra for policing, as well as introducing Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Orders.
She added: “We are consulting on these measures because too many of our high streets and town centres have become no-go areas on a Friday and Saturday night. Just under half of all violent crimes involve alcohol and a great deal of anti-social behaviour is alcohol-fuelled.
“It is responsible drinkers, businesses and the wider community who are paying the price in terms of crime and disorder on our streets, violent, alcohol-related injuries clogging up our Accident and Emergency rooms and significant long term health problems. The government will consult on a new approach to turn the tide against irresponsible drinking which costs the taxpayer £21 billion a year. It will help reverse a culture that led to almost 1 million alcohol-related violent crimes and 1.2 million alcohol-related hospital admissions last year alone.
“The consultation is targeted explicitly at those harmful drinkers, problem pubs and irresponsible shops. It is not about stopping sensible, responsible drinking or penalising responsible shops, pubs and off-licences.”
Find out the drinks trade's views on the consultation here