May put her thoughts on record in the ministerial foreword to last week’s ‘Next Steps for Alcohol Strategy’ document released by the Home Office which confirmed the Government was putting the brakes on a minimum per unit price for alcohol.
The Home Secretary said ‘targeted action by the pubs and clubs themselves’ was ‘by far the most effective in curbing irresponsible drinking’ and she singled out Best Bar None, founded in Manchester in 2003, for special praise.
Saying the organisation was a ‘good example’ of an industry-led campaign, May said: “the effects of ‘Best Bar None’ on reducing drunkenness, and in particular on reducing drunken violence, can be spectacular.”
The Government document referred to Doncaster and Durham where Best Bar None schemes have helped reduce violent crime by 40 and 60 per cent respectively.
Best Bar None
After being trialled in Manchester ten years ago, Best Bar None now has 100 schemes in towns and cities across the UK, as well as three international schemes.
The organisation promotes best practice by night time economy operators by encouraging them to sign up to the scheme in their respective town or city and work together and with the police and local authorities to reduce the problems caused by irresponsible drinking.
Philip Kolvin QC, the chairman of Best Bar None, said: "I am pleased with the language and tone of the Government response, and in particular with the recognition it gives to effectiveness of Best Bar None schemes.
“It is up to us now to repay the trust which Government has reposed in us. With the hard work taking place at local level up and down the land, I know that we can do so."
Most recently Best Bar None has offered its assistance to Newcastle City Council which announced its intention to run a ‘best-bar-none-style scheme’.
The announcement came at the same time the council revealed it plans to introduce a Late Night Levy – a tax on venues which sell alcohol after midnight – in November.
Recently-appointed Best Bar None national director Simon Jackson said he had contacted Newcastle City Council to offer the organisation’s support.
“There is no point in having a ‘best-bar-none-style’ scheme, when you can have the real thing.
“Late night levies are not necessarily the way forward, as unlike Best Bar None, they do not engender partnership or drive standards or improvements.
“We would welcome the opportunity to work closely with Newcastle Council to help them reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder by building positive relationships between the licensed trade, police and local authorities, without the need for a Late Night Levy.
Earlier this month councils in Monmouthshire and Bournemouth confirmed they would not be introducing a LNL or Early Morning Restriction Order (LNL).