The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has called into question figures about alcohol-related violence released by the Local Government Association (LGA). The LGA has claimed – as reported in M&C Report's morning notes today – that seven out of ten police authorities and NHS trusts had reported an increase or no change in alcohol-related incidents since introduction of 24-hour licensing laws. It also reported that new relaxed drinking laws had cost the taxpayer £100m. But the ALMR claim these figures are not true. It said last night that only 10% of local authorities thought that alcohol-related disorder had increased – and that a quarter thought the problem had actually decreased. “I understand that the LGA has an annual conference to promote but this sort of misleading press comment is not helpful," said chief executive Nick Bish. "Mounting evidence, including the Government’s own far-reaching review, has shown that the Licensing Act has been far from the disaster it is widely portrayed. "It is high time that bodies such as the LGA laid off our pubs and bars and instead acknowledged the significant steps that they have taken to promote sensible drinking.” British Beer and Pub Association director of communications Mark Hastings added: "LGA chairman Simon Milton should re-read the introduction he wrote to his own licensing policy where he stated quite clearly that alcohol related crime is down. "He might then review the same statements made by a host of local authorities in their licensing policies. "The hard facts outweigh the perceptions of this survey – crime is down."