Crime and disorder objectives

Crime Prevention aspects of the Licensing Act 2003

The 2003 Act gives more freedom and flexibility for businesses and consumers, but this has been very carefully balanced with extremely strong and flexible powers to deal with the small number of businesses who fail to comply with licensing law. These powers represent a genuine sea change in the running and regulation of the sectors licensed under the 2003 Act. When fully implemented in November 2005, the 2003 Act will, in relation to:

Alcohol related disorder

Retain or modernise the existing offences of:

  • Allowing disorderly conduct on licensed premises which, on conviction could result in a fine of up to £1000 and, if the offender is a personal licence holder, possible suspension or forfeiture of that licence;
  • Failure without reasonable excuse of any person who is drunk or disorderly to leave licensed premises at the request of a constable or anyone working at the premises as well as the designated premises supervisor, premises licence holder or, in the case of an event held under a temporary event notice, the premises user with a fine on conviction of up to £200;
  • Selling, or attempting to sell, or allowing alcohol to be sold to a person who is drunk with a fine on conviction of up to £1000, and if the offender is a personal licence holder, possible suspension or forfeiture of that licence;
  • Knowingly obtaining or attempting to obtain alcohol for a person who is drunk with a fine on conviction of up to £200.

Police powers to immediately close areas or particular premises

Expand the existing court powers, on application by the police, to close all licensed premises and those for which a temporary event notice has effect within a specified geographical area for up to 24 hours where disorder is occurring or anticipated.

Expand the police powers DCMS introduced in December 2001 to close down disorderly and excessively noisy licensed premises such as pubs, nightclubs, restaurants and hotels, one off raves instantly for up to 24 hours.

Tackling the culture of alcohol related disorder

Abolish the fixed and artificially early closing times which we believe encourage binge drinking and result in large numbers of young people hitting the streets simultaneously causing the police enormous difficulties.

Targeting problem premises

Provide a new mechanism for reviewing licences when problems relating to the licensing objectives arise, backed by an extended range of measures, rather than the current practice of having to await renewals before any action can be taken and then only having the option of renewing or not renewing the licences.

Allow the police, or indeed any responsible authority or interested party (such as a local resident) to ask the licensing authority to review a licence at any time on grounds relating to any of the four licensing objectives.

Allow a flexible range of measures to be taken after the review that hit the profits of the business including:

  • Temporary or permanent reduction in trading hours;
  • Temporary or permanent reduction in licensable activities;
  • Temporary or permanent modification of other conditions attached to the licence or club premises certificate;
  • Removal of designated premises supervisor from the licence; and
  • Suspension or revocation of licences or club premises certificates.

Enable the police to seek court orders banning the sale of alcohol on train routes or at stations either temporarily or permanently.

Ban the sale of alcohol on any moving motor vehicle.

Bring river and coastal "booze cruises" into the licensing regime (at present such "cruises" can legitimately be laid on for 14 year olds and are totally uncontrolled) and thereby extend the police closure powers to them.

Updated: 22 September 2010