Yob behaviour costs businesses £9,000 a year
A quarter of UK businesses have said that the 24-hour drinking legislation - introduced in November 2005 - has increased yob behaviour, according to a survey carried out by Royal & SunAlliance.

The report claims that the cost of anti-social behaviour to businesses soared to an average of£5,000 during the first half of last year, against£2,300 for the second part of 2005.

Retailers and the consumer sector claimed to be hardest hit, with the average cost of yob behaviour amounting to more than£9,000. About 27 per cent of businesses affected attributed the increase to the introduction of 24-hour drinking in England and Wales.

Despite a reduction in the number of UK businesses affected from one third in 2005 to 20 per cent in 2005, the research revealed a 120 per cent increase in costs incurred - suggesting an increase in the severity of yob behaviour.

There were also significant regional variations in the costs for businesses. Worst hit were Scotland, the Northeast, London and the Southeast, while the east of England and the Northwest were least affected.