Sussex police have recently stated that they would back a levy being proposed by the government that would introduce an extra cost to pubs and bars that stay open late at night. The levy would help pay for the additional policing costs that are associated with late night venues. They would pay for such services including street wardens, police and cleaners.
It is expected that the cost of the levy could be high, and business owners in Brighton have said that they could be facing additional fees of over £1000 a year. An estimate by the police shows that the cost of alcohol misuse in Brighton is around £100 million a year.
Simon Nelson from the local police force has commented, “On evenings and weekends, we have to have about 40 police officers who are just dedicated to dealing with issues of drunkenness in the city centre.”
The chairwoman of the licensing committee is Lizzie Dean and she has commented, “I think this levy is a good idea, as long as it doesn’t affect the city’s nightlife too much. I also think it is something that local residents would welcome with open arms, too many of them have been disturbed by drunkenness for many years and more action needs to be taken to keep this to a minimum.
“That said, nightlife in Brighton is a very important aspect of the city, not just as a social issue, but it also forms an important part of the economy. We would want to make sure that no one loses their job unnecessarily because a venue has to close.
Before any decisions are made about the introduction of this levy, it needs to be thoroughly debated.” The Home Office have said that they are welcoming the public’s opinion on the levy before they make a final decision.