The extension of alcohol beverage serving hours to 24 hours per day in Norwich, England, has led to a decline in alcohol-related problems, according to police officials.
Although Chief Constable Carole Howlett first feared the extended hours would lead to an increase in alcohol-related crime, the opposite has occurred. In the six months after the change, there were 584 fewer violent offences in the county compared to the same period a year earlier. Criminal damage, another offence often associated with alcohol abuse, also fell.
The constable reported that people are pacing their drinking and that the new hours have relieved pressure at the times when problems were common. She believes that the extended serving hours have “had a positive impact.”
Insp. Peter Walsh said “We’re no longer seeing the huge queues for clubs and taxis at 11:30pm and then 2am which were often associated with trouble and we no longer see large crowds pouring out on to the street all at the same time.”
Pub owners, taxi drivers and others have also noted the improvement. One said “I have noticed a lot of people coming out later instead of going for a drink straight after work.” He explained that drinking has spread out over time and place, resulting in fewer problems.
These positive outcomes are consistent with the results throughout the country. Following the extension of serving hours, serious violent crime in the UK has fallen over one-fifth (21%) and injuries have fallen 14%.
Filed Under: Alcohol Abuse