A senior British police officer has warned that pending changes in the country's licensing laws could create "my idea of hell". Speaking on BBC's Panorama programme last night, the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Stephen Green, said that the deregulation of licensing laws, set to take effect next year, could lead to Britain's alcohol problem getting worse, not better.

"The risk period that we have to police will get longer. And therefore, the resource consequences will get greater. I don't see any great benefit to me as the police chief in that change," he said.

"I think the idea that we can somehow sort of transform into a 24-hour café culture à la continental Europe isn't going to happen.

"I think what we're going to finish up with, if we're not careful, is a 24-hour version of what we've got now - and that is my idea of hell."

Chief Constable Green also said that, in Nottingham at least, the increased number of bars in the city centre has led to police resources being pulled away from other areas at the weekends.

He said: "I believe the people who most need policing can't get it, because police officers who should be on the outer city estates, on the inner city estates, in the suburbs, are being sucked out of those areas into policing the Nottingham city centre."