The number of areas blighted by drink-related violence and crime has risen by nearly 150 per cent since 2007.
Home Office figures showed that “cumulative impact zones” – referring to problems associated with having a number of licensed premises clustered together — had risen from 71 at the end of March 2007 to 175 today, The Daily Mail reported.
Opening hours were relaxed by the then Labour government in 2005 with the aim of creating a continental-style café culture, where people did not rapidly drink alcohol in order to get drunk before closing time.
In September, police forces launched a campaign to highlight problems with excessive alcohol consumption. They trialled mobile custody suites and medical triage facilities to treat drunken people.
Crime prevention minister Norman Baker told the Mail that the government was “determined to tackle alcohol abuse”, adding that alcohol-related crime costs about £11bn a year in England and Wales.