Police disagree on new boozing levy

Humberside Police said there are already schemes in place that do not require a Late Night Levy
Humberside Police said there are already schemes in place that do not require a Late Night Levy

Plans for a levy that would charge late night alcohol vendors to contribute towards night-time policing are expected to be shelved.

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council had considered introducing either a Late Night Levy or an Early Morning Restriction Order across the county, but have now deferred their decision, following objection by Humberside Police.

The force says alcohol related crime at night time is falling, and a number of schemes are already in place to avert offending which would “not require the introduction of the Late Night Levy”.

Humberside Police assistant chief constable, Lee Freeman, said: “In relation to crime and disorder in the East Riding at the present moment in time we are seeing some real positive signs and reductions in many areas.

“There are opportunities to reduce alcohol related crime and disorder in the night time economy in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Many of these opportunities do not require the introduction of the Late Night Levy.”

Late Night Levies were introduced by the Home Office as a new power to divert the cost of issues caused by alcohol related crime.

The levy would cover the extra police enforcement costs, and would be split between Humberside Police and the East Riding Council.

Funds could also take the pressure of accident and emergency departments, by providing further medical services and equipment elsewhere.

The 650 premises across the county could expect to pay anything between £209 and £4,440 a year.

However few authorities have introduced the levy due to “challenges” posed by lengthy consultation periods.

The Home Office want to consult with councils to make it easier to implement the levy in more specific locations within certain authority areas.

Changes to the legislation are not expected to happen until April 2017.

An East Riding Council committee are expected to defer proceeding with a formal consultation until the Home Office’s proposals are approved.