The change in licensing laws has not increased serious crime or the number of incidents where people have been injured. However, it has brought about an increase in the number of recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour.
The number of fines issued in central Brighton in the last year has almost tripled. The new laws were introduced on 16 November and 948 fines were issued between December 2005 and October 2006. This compares with just 365 in the same period in the previous year.
The police believe that this is not because anti-social behaviour has increased but simply that the staggered closing times enable more interventions.
Previously when all venues were required to close at the same time the streets would be immediately flooded with drunk and disorderly people and the police had an impossible challenge to control behaviour or make arrests.
The staggered hours mean that by working round the clock police in Brighton have been able to intercept people before they become too dangerous. They have issued 2,500 £80 fines for anti-social behaviour over the last year and in this respect they are proving to be one of the most prolific and arguably one of the most effective police forces in the country.
The number of casualties passing through A&E has fallen and the level of serious drink related crime has also dropped (see previous article entitled 'Drink related violence falls with new drinking laws' at - http://www.brightonbusiness.co.uk/htm/ni20061119.887467.htm).
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