Government calls last orders for unruly pubs

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Unruly and violent pubs could be given penalty points and eventually closed down under a scheme being considered by the Home Office, it was announced yesterday.

News of the clampdown on drink-related violence came as Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, disclosed details of proposals for a law against criminals and nightmare neighbours who terrorise and harass communities.

Under plans for the new Community Safety Order, people who break restrictions and curfews imposed by the courts could be jailed for up to five years and given an unlimited fine. As part of the Government's drive against drinking and disorder, Alun Michael, the Home Office minister, told the Howard League for Penal Reform's annual conference in Oxford that his department was examining ways of dealing with violent pub-goers. "Several senior police officers have told me that drink-related violence is now one of their biggest problems," he said.

"We are considering a range of proposals. These include a penalty points scheme for pubs linked to violence, with an accumulated level of points possibly leading to loss of licence."