Bar crawl organisers, Carnage, could have to start footing the bill for the damage their events cause after the city council passed a proposal this week to make the company pay.
The Liberal Democrats put forward the motion which was agreed to by the council and now Carnage UK will be responsible for paying any extra costs the public have to pick up as a result of the bar crawls they organise, including cleaning.
The council have also called on the police and NHS to ask Carnage to pay the extra costs they incur because of the events.
The proposal comes as Sheffield Hallam student, Philip Laing, faces the possibility of a prison sentence for urinating on a war memorial during a Carnage bar crawl.
Cllr Paul Scriven, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said “In my view a private company should not be able to make a profit from encouraging young people to binge drink and cause mayhem.
“But regardless of the moral arguments, if these events leave a trail of destruction behind them then it’s clear to me that Carnage UK should be paying for the resulting costs rather than leaving the taxpayer to foot the bill.”
The company organises bar crawls in 45 towns and cities across the country. Students pay £10 for a t-shirt and free entry into bars and clubs, many of which hold cheap drinks offers on the night.
Following criticism of Laing’s actions, a Carnage UK spokesman defended the bar crawls the company organises.
It insisted that the focus of the events was not on drinking but on integrating students into the wider university community.
He said: “Our events are heavily focussed on group identity, social & ethnic cohesion and fancy dress themes.
“The only criticism [of our events] we are aware of, are those created by our competitors, the student unions across England.
“These are the very same student unions who themselves are operating dangerous and irresponsible drinks promotions.
“Our marketing material always carry the ‘Drink Responsibly’ message and the Challenge 21 policy which we strictly enforce.”
Five people were arrested at the last Carnage event in October.