24-hour pub laws fail to incite crime

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The Independent Online

The 24-hour drinking laws have not led to any more violence or vandalism after pub closing times, new figures show.

Home Office criminologists looked at the level of violence and criminal damage committed in 23 police force regions between 11pm and 2am up to March this year. Their report, Crime In England and Wales 2005-6, concluded: "The data show no indication of a rise in the overall level of offences or a shift in the timing of offences as a result of the change in the opening hours."

The police figures also show a surge in street offences and muggings, although overall crime is stable. John Reid, the Home Secretary, said the rise in muggings was driven by thefts of mobile phones and MP3 players.

Data from 23 of the 43 police forces reveals the number of violent offences has remained stable at around 80,000 per month since October 2004.