To curb the rising number of reported cases involving alcohol-related violence, a report prepared by the British Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee has strongly recommended on banning the drink-promoting "Happy Hours" policy. It also advices stringent checks on the sale cheap alcohol at supermarkets and the easy availability of licenses.
Titled "Policing in the 21st century", the report also said that alcohol-related violence had put pressure on available police resources, thereby diverting officers from fighting serious crime, reported telegraph.co.uk
"There is certainly a strong perception amongst police forces that alcohol-related violence is on the increase. What is clear is that forces now deploy resources to deal with alcohol-related crime and disorder for longer periods of time, as a result of longer opening hours, and in larger areas, as late-night drinking is no longer confined to city centers," observed the report.
It cited research that found 45 per cent of victims of violence described their assailant as being under the influence of alcohol. There has also been an increase in trouble in suburban areas, because people are drinking locally at weekends, where pubs now stay open later, rather than paying the cab fare and entry fees of pubs in town centers, it added.
Opposition leaders said that the findings of the report exposed the Government's "reckless" approach to 24-hour drinking laws and a top down target-driven agenda that has proved "an expensive disaster".
Calling for a ban on selling alcohol, the Committee also suggested setting up of a minimum price for all drinks. "We cannot have on one hand a world of alcohol promotions for profit that fuels surges of crime and disorder, and on the other the police diverting all their resources to cope with it", the report quoted Committee Chairman Keith Vaz as saying.
The report also noted that the real price of alcohol has fallen dramatically in the past 30 years and urged ministers to clamp down on irresponsible bars and pubs.