At a meeting with police officers last Monday in Lichfield, Michael
Fabricant was told that extra police officers would be needed to patrol
streets if drink laws in Lichfield and Burntwood were extended. And
tonight, Britain’s top policeman says plans for 24-hour drinking should
be re-examined because of a binge drinking "epidemic".
Metropolitan police chief Sir John Stevens has called for a rethink as
the government prepares to publish the amount councils can charge to
process licenses. He told the London Evening Standard: "There has been
a major trend towards drunken, loutish behaviour: assaults on police are
up 40%. It’s not just London – it’s nationwide. I feel now that we
should just slow down a little on this proposal … let’s have another
look at what all-hours drinking could mean."
And Michael Fabricant says: "I agree. Like it or not, the Brits are
not like the Italians or French. A number of us get aggressive and
disorderly after a few drinks. Many disorder problems in the West
Midlands are drink related and are likely to get worse if licensing
hours are extended. Many local councillors have told me that they may
have no choice in the matter and that they fear prosecution from large
pub chains if they don’t allow extended drinking hours. That can’t be
"I once supported 24 hour drinking laws. Sadly, I have seen that this
doesn’t work in practice. The misery and disturbed nights it can cause
residents on the route home from a midnight binge cannot be allowed to
continue – let alone, get worse".