Half of 1,200 assaults in Fenland last year could have been caused by binge drinking

PUBLISHED: 13:00 28 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:14 02 June 2010

Malcolm Moss

Malcolm Moss

NEARLY 1,200 people were violently attacked in Fenland last year – and almost half of the incidents could have triggered by binge drinking according to Government figures. The Home Office figures have prompted North East Cambs MP Malcolm Moss to call for

NEARLY 1,200 people were violently attacked in Fenland last year - and almost half of the incidents could have triggered by binge drinking according to Government figures.

The Home Office figures have prompted North East Cambs MP Malcolm Moss to call for tough action to curb the spread in binge drinking.

There were 1,196 violent attacks last year. Based on Government surveys, where 47 per cent of all assaults are alcohol-related, 562 of these were caused by people under the influence.

Mr Moss said: "Local councils need to be given the powers to tackle these problems so that socially responsible people can be able to enjoy a night out in Fenland without fear of violence."

Licensing laws, which came into effect in 2005, have made it easier for alcohol licences to be given out and restricted the opportunities for anyone to object to licensing applications, according to Mr Moss.

At the time the laws were introduced, Mr Moss was the Shadow Minister leading on the Licensing Bill and argued that new rules would create more problems than they solved.

Mr Moss said: "Government wouldn't budge on its 24-hour licensing experiment. Tony Blair claimed that our drinking habits would become more "continental" but what we have instead is growing under-age drinking, binge-drinking and booze-related violence.

He added: "While we don't want a return to the old days where every pub shuts at 11pm, it is evident that licensing laws are too soft. The Government should have introduced measures that gave local councils greater powers to tackle binge-drinking and made it easier for local councils and residents to oppose applications for 24-hour premises.

"We may not have convinced the Government to introduce more sensible licensing laws four years ago, but if the Conservatives win the next election then this is certainly something that we will look at again.


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