UK judges have warned that relaxed drinking laws could lead to an increase in violence across the country.

From 24 November this year, licensed premises will be able to apply for extended opening hours, past the current 11pm limit and potentially to allow 24-hour drinking at some venues. The UK government hopes the new laws will curb violence by staggering the times drinkers spill onto UK town streets as the pubs and bars close.

However, the Council of Her Majesty's Circuit Judges, which represents 600 judges, has said that violence could soar.

In a report the judges said: "Those who routinely see the consequences of drink-fuelled violence in offences of rape, grievous bodily harm and worse on a daily basis are in no doubt that an escalation of offences of this nature will inevitably be caused by the relaxation of liquor licensing which the government has now authorised."

The warning follows similar fears from UK police organisations.

A report by the Association of Chief Police Officers said there was "a strong link between the increase in disorder and the explosion of late-night premises".

The report went on: "One only has to look to popular holiday destinations to see the effect of allowing British youth unrestricted access to alcohol."