Sydney ditches all-day drinking

Australia’s biggest city has scrapped its 24-hour drinking laws in a bid to curb alcohol-fuelled violence.

Sydney authorities say binge drinking has led to attacks on residents and police officers, including a recent spate of ‘glassings’ where men and women have been hit in the face with beer glasses.

Nathan Rees, the Premier of New South Wales, said people in the region “have had enough of it”.

From now on, pubs and clubs will only be licensed for 18 hours of trading and must serve alcohol in plastic glasses after midnight. No new customers will be allowed in after 2am.

Rees said the new laws were not aimed at “ending the good times,” but “stopping drunken behavior that ends in violence.”

“We’re serious about tackling alcohol-related violence and will do whatever it takes to make our streets safer. There’s nothing more gutless than sticking a glass in someone’s face,” he said.

The UK’s controversial 24 hour drinking laws have been blamed for increases in late night violence.

Earlier this month, the Police Federation of England and Wales warned that the laws had left small towns like the “wild west”.

Recent moves by ministers to introduce a new code of conduct to regulate the alcohol industry more tightly have been dismissed as an attempt to “save face”.

Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said the new draft code was “an admission that the Government’s decision to recklessly unleash 24-hour drinking on our towns and cities has failed”.