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ROWDY WORLD CUP PUBS MAY BE CLOSED, COUNCIL LEADERS WARN

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Pubs that encourage binge drinking and cause violence during the World Cup may be shut down by the time the latter ...
Pubs that encourage binge drinking and cause violence during the World Cup may be shut down by the time the latter stages of the competition kick off, council leaders warned today.

The 35,000 pubs that regularly show football are gearing up for a flood of extra drinkers over the coming weeks with beer sales expected to rocket by around 40% every time England play. During the last World Cup, around 27 million visits were made to the pub to watch the games. In addition, noise complaints rise in the summer, as in the hot weather publicans open windows and drinkers make the most of beer gardens.

Councils have pledged to make the most of new powers under the licensing act to protect residents from disruption and crack down on irresponsible drinks promotions that encourage binge drinking and rowdy behaviour. The Local Government Association's 'three point plan' allows residents to make the most of powers they have to deal with rowdy pubs over the coming weeks. Residents experiencing problems should:

* Contact their council's Environmental Health department and local councillor

* Keep a diary detailing rowdy behaviour and contact the police for serious incidents

* Be willing to present their views to the council's licensing committee

Bryony Rudkin, Chair of the LGA's Safer Communities Board, says: 'New, tougher laws are there to protect residents. People should make the most of the World Cup to get out and show their support. But, pubs should be warned that councils and the police will have no qualms about using these powers in the coming weeks.'

'If England go all the way to the final, some people may be sorely disappointed to find their local cannot show the game because there have been problems earlier on in the tournament.

'Councils will be paying particularly close attention to irresponsible drinks promotions. If they are the cause of disruption local authorities can and will ban them.'

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