Happy hours, cheap drink promotions and price discounts in supermarkets are to be banned in an effort to combat alcohol fuelled violence in the city centres.
The legislation in England and Wales could introduce a minimum price on alcohol. MP’s will be said to taking inspiration from Scotland’s new licensing laws which include the power to fix alcohol prices and to stop promotions and happy hours, as Ministers in Edinburgh say they might seek to set a minimum price on drink.
Supermarkets selling alcohol at a loss is a huge contributing factor to England and Wales binge drinking problem, in 2007 alcohol was 69 per cent more affordable in Britain than in 1980, which in return is causing an increase of 25 per cent in violent crimes committed between 3am and 6am, with 45 per cent of victims of violence say their assailant was under the influence of alcohol.
Alcohol related admissions to hospitals for children under ten years old is particularly high in England. Government figures have revealed today that a child under ten is admitted every three days. Between 2002 and 2007 a total of 648 under-tens and more than 24,000 under 16’s were admitted into hospital with alcohol related problems.
Lib Dem culture spokesman Don Foster said the Government had “completely failed” to tackle Britain’s “growing alcohol problem”.
He has went on to urge ministers to conduct a review of the systems which should be preventing children getting their hands on alcohol, he commented “For so many children of such a young age to be hospitalised is scandalous”.
He has called for a complete change on Britain’s drinking culture to be changed to prevent a whole generation to be condemned to serious alcohol-related illnesses.
However many clubs and pubs are promoting cheaper drink offers than ever before which is fuelling Britain’s binge drinking culture. Last Wednesday evening Escapade a club in Newport south Wales, held an event that included a drinks promotion that just cost £5 for five hours of unlimited drinking. Hundreds of student customers attended the event, which will be repeating on the same night this week.
The manager of the club Mr Steven Dew has defended the night saying that it is not encouraging binge drinking and that the event will definitely not be the last.
Alcohol and drug support agency Prism condemned the promotion and urged local people to complain so the local authority could reconsider its licensing of such an event.
Director Melanie Perry said: “ He is clearly promoting excessive drinking through this practice”.
The possible solution to target Binge Drinking in England and Wales would be a legislation setting a minimum price on alcohol however this has already resulted in criticism from sensible drinkers saying that not everyone should be penalised in a attempt to deter “drunken louts”.
However there is evidence that these measures of banning happy hours, cheap drinks and discounts in supermarkets may not tackle Britain’s binge drinking culture with these measures taking place in Ireland already which have seemed to have little or no effect.