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Government defends 24-hour drinking laws

Published:  23 July, 2008

The UK Government has been forced to defend 24-hour drinking laws after its own figures show a rise in late-night violence.

Home Office figures revealed violent crimes and criminal damage from 6am to 6pm rose 7,000 to 940,522 in the 12 months after the laws were relaxed.

There was also a 22% leap in alcohol-fuelled violence from 3am to 6am.

Shadow home secretary David Davis said: "The Government should have listened to our call to pilot the scheme." The Liberal Democrats accused the Government of "naivety" over its bid to create a continental drinking culture.

Licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe responded by saying serious incidents have fallen overall, adding: "Bars and clubs close at different times over a longer period enabling the police to better deal with disorder."