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Brown hints at licensing U-turn

UK prime minister Gordon Brown suggested on Monday that the recent laws allowing 24-hour licenses could be overturned. He told the Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth …

… “Where there are things that are wrong and where mistakes have been made, we will look at those things and we will change those things,” and expressed a commitment to tackle underage drinking and binge drinking.  

He said, “The thing I am most concerned about is binge drinking among teenagers.” When asked on BBC Radio 4 about the possibility of raising the legal drinking age to 21, he said, “I don’t think that is going to solve the problem.”
A review of the Licensing Act is currently underway, with a report expected by the end of the year.
The British Beer & Pub Association reported a decrease in alcohol-related violence since the introduction of the Licensing Act, citing recent statistics from London’s Camden and Westminster councils.
Alcohol-related crime in Camden reportedly fell by 15% between November 2005 and November 2006, the first year that the act was in place.

Clinton Cawood, 26/09/07

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