Extended licences for pubs during Edinburgh’s festivals put city at risk


Bars and pubs have had their licences extended to 5am during festivals in Scotland’s capital to accommodate the celebrations.

However, Scottish Police Federation east area committee chair, Andy Malcolm, has criticised the move, stating that the subsequent increase in drunken offenders puts a strain on emergency services.

He continued to claim that the extension of drinking hours is breached main objectives of the Licensing Act 2005 which was created to prevent crime and disorder, secure public safety and prevent public nuisance, as well as to protect and improve public health and protect children from harm.

He said: “The biggest problem is that we have the Fringe and the festivals increasing the population of Edinburgh and the number of people travelling in and out but, in terms of police, we stay stuck on the same numbers with added demands.”

He continued to explain that he didn’t understand “the logic of [a] country and a city trying to pride itself on the reduction of harm and the reduction of issues.”

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a three-week period of celebrations and events, hosts over 3,500 shows and has recently been named as the UK’s top “unmissable experience” in new travel guide, Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist. 

Malcolm continued: “Effectively, it’s a 24-hour licence. You can go around the city and get access to alcohol 24 hours a day.”

The City of Edinburgh Council has stated that the period of extended hours will operate from 2nd-26th August 2019.

Molly Hookings
Author: Molly Hookings

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: molly@eventindustrynews.com