Late-night booze sellers in Hackney could be charged in crime crackdown
- Credit: Archant
Almost 400 licensed premises selling booze between midnight and 6am could soon be shelling out for a late-night levy.
Hackney Council has drawn up proposals for the charge, which has already been introduced in Islington and Camden, to help pay for extra policing, security and cleaners in the early hours.
It comes on the back of evidence showing a link between locations of licensed premises and robberies, violent crimes and thefts, of which there is a huge increase between midnight and 2am.
The town hall also believes the cluster of drinks sellers in Dalston and Shoreditch is having a detrimental effect on the areas.
The amount of the levy is determined by the non-domestic rateable value of the business, and ranges from £299 to £1,493 – with more for venues exclusively selling alcohol.
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It is estimated to raise £362,000 – though 70 per cent of that will go to the police, who will then work with the council to decide how best to spend the money.
Paul Daly, who runs Hoxton bars Zigfried von Underbelly and Roadtrip and the Workshop thinks the levy is a good idea.
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“It’s a good thing if it pays for wardens and police,” he told the Gazette. “As long as that is what it’s used for I personally think it’s a great idea. It will encourage people to go out.”
But Paul, who has lived and worked in Hoxton for more than 20 years, did expect other businesses to give the plans short shrift. “Other people hate it,” he added. “Some people will fight any costs.”
A staff member at Stokey Supermarket in Stoke Newington Road said she didn’t agree with the plans.
“If people want to drink at that time, it’s their responsibility to be grown adults and act accordingly,” she said.
Hackney’s voluntary levy, paid by about 40 businesses in Dalston and Shoreditch, would be swallowed up if the plans go ahead. They are set to be discussed at a town hall meeting on Thursday.
If they are given the green light, a formal consultation would run from August to October, with a final decision pencilled in for November.
A council spokesman said: “Hackney is well known for its night life, but we do get some complaints about the noise, anti-social behaviour and litter that can come with it. A late night levy could help by paying for more police, wardens and street cleaners into the early hours of the morning.
“If we decide to consult on the levy, we will make sure everyone who runs a late night venue in Hackney has the opportunity to have their say.”