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A practitioners’ guide for dealing

with problem licensed providers

Police and Crime Standards Directorate

With links to related resources in the online PDF version

A practitioners’ guide for dealing
with problem licensed providers
Police and Crime Standards Directorate
November 2006
This document has been produced and is intended as an operational guide for practitioners. It is
not intended to be a comprehensive summary of government guidance for managing the entire
night-time economy in town and city centres. Use of the guide will also require local operational
choices to be made in order to achieve the appropriate response.

This guidance has no legal standing and does not replace, extend, amend or alter in any way the
statutory provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 or any subordinate legislation made under it or the
statutory guidance issued in relation to it. No responsibility is accepted for any errors, omissions
or misleading statements in this guidance, or any site to which it connects. In particular, it must
be noted that, although the Home Office has made every effort to ensure that the information in
this guidance is correct, changes in the law and its operation mean that the information in these
pages cannot be guaranteed as accurate. This guidance will be updated according to legislative
and policy changes and re-released as required.


The Licensing Act 2003 came into force on 24 November 2005. The purpose of the Act was to
make going out more pleasurable for the vast majority of people who drink responsibly and who
do not engage in criminal or anti-social behaviour. It was also designed to make it easier for the
authorities to deal robustly with problem premises and to complement other measures within the
criminal justice system designed to crack down on consumers and providers of alcohol who go
beyond the boundaries of what is lawful and/or socially acceptable.

As part of the Government’s Tackling Violent Crime Programme (TVCP), the Home Office, through
the Police Standards Unit (PSU), ran a series of targeted Alcohol Misuse Enforcement
Campaigns (AMECs) across England and Wales. This identified what works in both the
prevention of alcohol-fuelled violence and the enforcement of regulations dealing with it and
managing problem licensed premises. More specifically, this knowledge base includes how to
deal effectively with problematic ‘on’ and ‘off’ licensed providers. While problematic providers are
in the minority within the alcohol licensed industry, their irresponsible actions, if not challenged,
contribute to the alcohol-fuelled violence and disorder occurring in our communities.

This guide builds on the previous PSU publication Lessons from the Christmas 2003 Alcohol
Misuse Enforcement Campaign. It has been specifically designed for practitioners and contains
guidance on:

• the use of intelligence;

• how to work with responsible members of the licensed trade – trade associations in
partnership with the Government have produced Social Responsibility Standards for the
Production and Sale of Alcoholic Drinks in the UK (see resources in the online PDF
version of this guide) which commits the trade to the promotion of responsible drinking
and the elimination of sales to under-18s;

• where necessary, how to make robust use of the powers contained within the Act and
the opportunities to impose conditions, complete with a set of route maps to take you
through the processes – these include how to carry out reviews and closures of
licensed premises; and

• tactical options found to be effective in the TVCP.

The guide also contains a glossary, while the online PDF version provides links to a directory of
related resources providing more information and guidance.


It is intended that this guidance becomes a ‘living document’ and is kept up to date by locating it
on the Home Office Crime Reduction website for you to share your experiences and learning in
this area.

I do hope that this guidance will be of assistance to those involved in dealing with problem
licensed providers and that by your actions you will continue to make a valued contribution in
driving down alcohol-fuelled violence in our communities.

Paul Evans
Police and Crime Standards Directorate


Glossary 4
Introduction to the route maps: Why? How? When? 6
Route maps 8
Planning process 8
Intelligence management process 9
Problem licensed premises – prevention process 10
Problem licensed premises – enforcement process 11
Personal licence application process 12
Premises licence application process 13
Temporary event notice (TEN) process 14
Review licence process 15
Appeal process 16
Tactical options 17
Conditions on problem licensed providers 32
Next steps 38
Acknowledgements 39
Related resources (available in online PDF version of this guide)
Government departments and agencies, professional and trade associations, research
and resource sources
AMEC Guidance on Problem Profiles – night-time economy (UCL Jill Dando Institute)
Social Responsibility Standards for the Production and Sale of Alcoholic Drinks
in the UK (trade associations’ guide)
Sample pool of model conditions, Licensing Act 2003 (Gwent Police)
Sample enforcement protocol (Nottinghamshire Police)
Sample review notice (Nottinghamshire Police)
Licensed Premises Visits Enforcement Proforma (City Safe,
Greater Manchester Police)
Police powers to close premises (Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
guidance to police, Sections 160 and 161 of the Licensing Act 2003)
Powers to close premises (DCMS guidance to police, Section 19 of the Criminal Justice
and Police Act 2001); and unlicensed premises closure notice form (Kent County
Review bundle contents, ‘Dealing with Repeat Test Purchase Failures’
(Nottinghamshire Police)


ACS Association of Convenience Stores

ACPO Association of Chief Police Officers

ADZ Alcohol Disorder Zone

AERC Alcohol Education Research Council

A&E Accident and Emergency

AMEC Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaign

ARV Alcohol-Related Violence

ASBO Anti-Social Behaviour Order

BBPA British Beer and Pubs Association

BCU Basic Command Unit (police)

BII British Institute of Innkeepers

CDRP Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership

CJPA Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001

CPS Crown Prosecution Service

CSP Community Safety Partnership

DCMS Department for Culture, Media and Sport

DPPO Designated Public Place Order

DPS Designated Premises Supervisor

DVEC Domestic Violence Enforcement Campaign

FPN Fixed Penalty Notice

EHO Environmental Health Officer

HO Home Office

HVP High Visibility Patrol/Policing

IOL Institute of Licensing



LA Licensing Act/Local Authority/Licensing Authority

LACORS Local Authority Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services

LGA Local Government Association

LO Licensing Officer

NIM National Intelligence Model

NPLF National Police Licensing Forum

NTE Night-Time Economy

OCU Operational Command Unit (police)

OPSI Office of Public Sector Information

PESTEL Political – Economic – Social – Technological – Environmental – Legal

PLH Premises Licence Holder

PMDU Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit

PND Penalty Notice for Disorder

PNLDB Police National Legal Database

POP Problem Orientated Policing

PSU Police Standards Unit

RASG Retail Alcohol Standards Group

RIPA Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

SIA Security Industry Authority

SMART Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Time bound

SPOC Single Point of Contact

TEN Temporary Event Notice

TVCP Tackling Violent Crime Programme

VAP Violence against the Person

VCU Violent Crime Unit

WLGA Welsh Local Government Association

WASTA Wine and Spirit Trade Association




A key aspect of the Tackling Violent Crime Programme (TVCP) has been the focus on alcohol-
related violence, especially in the night-time economy. The Licensing Act 2003 brought new
approaches backed up by stronger powers to address the problem of alcohol-related violence,
and a series of Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaigns (AMECs) across England and Wales
highlighted the demonstrable impact this approach could have.

AMECs built on existing good practice and identified creative new initiatives to tackle the
challenges of the new licensing approach. In order to mainstream and extend the most effective
approaches and the use of powers, it was evident that there was a need for a set of simple route
maps to cut through some of the complexities, variances and misunderstandings surrounding the
new approach.

In light of this, a team of practitioners including representatives of operational police officers,

barristers, police force legal departments, licensing officers, vice squads, Local Criminal Justice
Boards, Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) and Community Safety
Partnerships (CSPs), local authorities, regional Government Offices and the Home Office Police
Standards Unit (PSU) have developed a set of maps showing the routes to follow for nine
key areas:

1 planning process

2 intelligence management process

3 problem licensed premises – prevention process

4 problem licensed premises – enforcement process

5 personal licence application process

6 premises licence application process

7 temporary event notice (TEN) process

8 review licence process

9 appeal process


These are designed to support people engaged in this area, and although there are nine
separate maps, each links in and joins together to build a cohesive approach to managing
problem licensed providers. They have been designed to flow, and the process can be tracked
by simply following the direction of the arrows. The standard process symbols have been used
as follows:

Start of Names the process at START

process Shows the start and finish of the process

Activity Shows the activity that takes place

Shows the person associated with that activity

option Shows the decision that has to be made

Licensing Shows documents used in the process, e.g. the Licensing Act 2003, a policy,
Act 2003 information such as a CCTV recording, etc.
Planning process

• Strategic licensing policy
• Enforcement protocols
• Information sharing protocols • Control strategy plan
• Cumulative impact policy/ • Tactical problem profiles
saturation policy

Police National
Intelligence Model

Develop control
Planning Conduct strategic and Action Task and co-ordinate Monitor/evaluate
Use NIM strategy and
process tactical assessments strategy prioritised actions results
problem profiles


Enforcement Partnership
group group

Responsible authority and licensing

authority group. Key representatives from
Suggested make up: the enforcement Group,
Note: plus:
• CSP; Enforcement group has been shown to • Pub Watch;
• LA planning department; benefit from: • Best Bar None;
• environmental health; • effective leadership; • NTE manager;
• child protection; • being a sub-group of CDRP/CSP; • Chamber of Commerce;
• fire service; • having a councillor in the group. • retail groups;
• lighting department; • residents’ groups; and
• street-cleaning department; and • other stakeholder groups.
• trading standards department.
Intelligence management process

Pro-active data from:

• mystery shopper;
• test purchase;
• complaints;
• proxy data, including ambulance
calls and A&E data;
• call data;
• Police • surveys;
• Partnerships • crime statistics – including age of
• Other agencies victims and offenders; Planning
• Etc. • third party referrals; process
• custody records;
• local knowledge;
• licensing visits; Local
• alcohol seizures; Application
• TEN records;
• reports from official agencies, e.g. process process
fire, health, education, trading
standards, environmental, etc.

START process
Intelligence Establish data Prioritise Feed into
Collect Analyse
management gathering problem appropriate
joint data data
process protocols premises process
Lead Lead process
organisation organisation
Data gathering See intelligence
protocols options under
tactical options Enforcement
Re-active data from: process
• emergency response situations;
• critical incidents
• Emergency services
• Responding agency
• Etc.

Problem licensed premises – prevention process
Written record, either:
• notes of meeting; or
• written notice
• Police local commander
• Responsible authority
START • Trading standards
• Environmental health
Designated DO DO
• Etc.
owner (DO)
Problem licensed
premises – Meet Share information Develop time-bound
prevention process Problem Assign
premises and concerns, and action plan (SMART) to
identified ownership
representatives agree problems resolve problems

Premises rep defined as:

Leadership • DPS; Problem
protocols • premises licence holder; licensed
• regional manager; Plan
Yes No premises –
• etc. agreed? enforcement


Intelligence Monitor action plan via

management Intelligence
process monthly meeting

Licensing Premises
group representatives Document concerns
Venue in warning letter and

Plan a
success? No

Yes advice

Intelligence Monitor/evaluate
Problem licensed premises – enforcement process
Intelligence Legal options
• Closure Order Tactical options
management and/or revocation • See tactical
process • Fixed Penalty options list in
Notice (FPN) guide
• Police local commander • PND Closure Order
• Fire service • Prosecution • S.161 LA 2003 – Supt.
• Trading standards • S.160 LA 2003 – Insp.
• Environmental health • S.19 CJPA 2001 – police
START • Etc.
or licensing authority
• Anti-social Behaviour Act
Problem licensed 2003 – ASBO and drugs
premises Problem Assign Seek legal Consider Select
– enforcement identified ownership advice options option(s)
process Implement
Designated option(s)
owner (DO)

Leadership Enforcement
protocols protocols Fixed Penalty Review Closure
Penalty Notice licence Order
Problem licensed Notice for
premises (FPN) Disorder
– prevention (PND)
process Refer to
Closure process

process Monitor

PND process

FPN process Intelligence

Intelligence process

Personal licence application process

Crime prevention
objectives Show there are exceptional
LA Licence
and compelling circumstances granted?
licensing for grant of licence
Serve notice of Check whether grant Yes
Personal licence relevant conviction of licence • Solicitor
application process or foreign conviction undermines crime • Licensing officer
on police prevention objective Hear case • Witnesses Consider
Notice of licensing Solicitor LO

No Does it? Prepare case


Notify Yes Police Yes

licensing Yes
authority licensing
Send Objection
Notice to licensing Proceed with Hear
authority objection? appeal at No
(<14 days) Magistrates’
Application No
Yes Obtain
No advice Appeal
Objection granted?

Yes No


Information Licence issue



Intelligence process Information Refuse licence

Premises licence application process
Premises licence • Saturation policy Licence Licence
• Cumulative impact Intelligence
application process policy
START Application application
• LA 2003 and
Applicant • Licensing Act Consider • LA policy
2003 Agree revised
• Hearing regs Inform application
• LA policy policy
application (if in place) applicant

LO Yes
LO No No for
RA hearing
LO Applicant hearing
process for Application Gather Continue
Yes Object? parties No
non-premises or valid? information agree?
variation LO
application RA rep Solicitor
No S.4 LA 2003: Yes
Revised 1. Prevention of crime Yes
and disorder Identify
application Identify Agree
Contact LA 2. Public safety Identify lic. who
Mediate with evidence disclosure
for 3. Prevention of public objective presents
Yes nuisance applicant
re-submission 4. Protection of
children from harm
LO LO Revised Make
Re-submit? application
Submit initial
representation Licensing panel
No Favourable?
Applicant Guidance to LA 2003 RA rep RA rep
<28 days of receipt of
application by licensing Yes
End of Use
No application prevention
process process

Temporary event notice (TEN) process
Allow Monitor/evaluate
TEN process event
Police Withdraw Modify
licensing Counter Counter
official Notice Notice No

Receive form Yes Yes

Withdraw Modify Mediation

No No Event Event goes
notice? notice? fails?
Guidance notes – LA 2003 terminated ahead
• Correctly served on police?
Problem • Correctly served on LA?
premises? • Event for <500 people?
• 24+ hrs since last TEN?
• >10 working days’ notice? Yes
• >24 hrs since last TEN? No
Yes/No • This venue had TENs covering >15 days in
last 12 mths? Set up
• This venue had <12 TENs in last 12 Mediation? No
Application months?
• TEN for </=96 hrs? Police
• If personal licence holder <50 TENs this licensing
year? If not personal licence holder <5 official
TENs this year?
Hold Licensing
Counter Notice hearing authority

action re S.136 LA
2003 Counter
unlicensed Serve Counter Notice Yes
activity Notice confirmed?
crime (<48 hrs)
prevention Licensing
objective? Police No authority
Police licensing
licensing official
Appeal? No
Yes Police
official Appeal
Monitor/evaluate Yes
Police process
Review licence process

Licensing Revocation LA policy Licensing Act

Act 2003 Decision log 2003 – civil
• Legal services balance of
• LOs
• RASG as reqd DO
Suspension DO Make application:
Review Pull • outline evidence;
Assign Consider Select
licence together • serve disclosure bundle
ownership options option
process evidence prior to hearing;
• state preferred outcome.
Modify (+/-)
START Designated
conditions Solicitor or
owner (DO)
Leadership person Licensing Receive
protocols authority application

Continue to mediate e.g.: Request

throughout process Submit Include Include
• incident books; disclosure
• CCTV; bundle of witnesses what to use
from other
Licensee and • door supervisor evidence to call as hearsay
register; side
police or resp.
auth. • acc. report book.

Mediation Who
worked? represents?

N.B. Judgment not

DO binding for 21 days
Yes (Licensing Act 2003)

DO Consider DO
Make alternative
Agree Remove Favourable? No Appeal?
voluntary • Solicitor tactical
conditions DPS Licensing
closure • LAC
• Witnesses Yes
DO Yes No

Prepare Attend Make Appeal

End of problem – conditions hearing judgment Monitor/ process
monitor/evaluate evaluate

Appeal process
authority • Magistrates’ Court rules
Appeal Monitor/evaluate apply
process Obtain directions
• Hearsay evidence is
Responsible Gather admissible
for disclosure
authority Responsible evidence
No ready for hearing
Take legal Instruct solicitor to Solicitor Solicitor Witnesses
advice issue notice of
Am I the appeal Attend first Attend full Appeal
Do I Yes
appellant? (<21 days of hearing at hearing at successful?
licensing cttee Magistrates’ Court Magistrates’ Court
Solicitor determination)

Responsible Yes No

Take legal
advice Uphold Dismiss
Yes appeal appeal
Apply to court
Join with Joining
Yes to be joined at
appellant? agreed? Magistrates
hearing Yes
Solicitor Gather
N.B. The magistrates must
evidence state that the LA decision
No was wrong – they can then
No Responsible substitute own decision
authority with any decision available
to the licensing authority or
remit back to licensing
Identify how to authority
proceed Provide panel’s
witnesses’ decision
evidence stands
Am I needed Responsible Responsible
as a witness? authority authority


Information Information
Monitor/evaluate Intelligence process Monitor/evaluate


The following tactical options are drawn from practical experience gathered during the Tackling
Violent Crime Programme (TVCP) – particularly the Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaigns
(AMECs) led by the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) but also
from the many partnerships, agencies and authorities active in the field of managing problem
licensed providers.

The options described are not intended to represent a complete list of options available to the
police and other authorities and agencies but are intended to show those found to be effective in
the TVCP which made demonstrable improvements. The options have been listed under the
following headings for ease of understanding:

1 Intelligence options

2 Pro-active options – re-active response options, such as responses to outbreaks of violence at

premises, are not covered, as these are guided by national and local policy and procedures

3 Legal options – covers current and imminent legislation, such as the Violent Crime Reduction
Act 2006

Although they can all be used in isolation, it has been found that they are best used on a ‘pick
and mix’ basis in order to develop a comprehensive strategy to tackle alcohol-related violence
and problem licensed providers. It is recommended that whatever options are applied, the first
step should be to adopt an intelligence-led approach.

Leadership and enforcement

The lead agencies shown against each option are sometimes statutory while others are
suggestions. All regions engaged in the AMECs were encouraged to develop and agree
enforcement and leadership protocols to cover this aspect. The protocols set out the working
arrangements between agencies and partnerships and will cover such things as:

• roles – those of each party for general and specific situations, i.e. whether they lead,
support, supply, etc.;

• responsibilities – what each party undertakes to do in general and specific situations;

• responses – an agreed menu of responses;

• approaches – an agreed escalation of responses;

• information sharing – what will be shared and how;

• risk rating processes – which factors to consider and the rating process;


• communication processes – covering how and when to communicate, e.g. within 48

hours by email, within seven days by letter, etc.; and

• protocol review processes – stipulating, for example, that signatories will meet every
three months to ensure that the consultation and enforcement arrangements are

Sample protocols can be found among the resources linked to the online PDF version of this
guide and on the TVCP website at

Tables outlining the three types of option listed above are provided below.

Intelligence options
The following options cover scanning, research and analysis activities normally conducted prior
to action being taken. Methods used should be compatible with the police National Intelligence
Model (NIM).

Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Environmental Considers issues that could Any authority or • Aims to keep those in
scanning affect licensing, such as agency the licensing arena
changes in policy, good aware of developments
practice in other areas, in a wider context.
recommendations in
• Used in strategic
government reports, etc. –
enables effective planning.
Can use PESTEL headings
as a guide: this enables
organisations to identify
issues/activities which
may/will have an impact on
licensed premises. The
headings are: Political –
Economic – Social –
Technological –
Environmental – Legal.


Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Problem Creates a profile of specific Police – but can • To understand problem

profiling problems that emanate from be any authority from a wide range of
alcohol-related issues and or agency intelligence and
licensed premises. information sources and
make recommendations
Considers use of Alcohol
to target resources
Misuse Enforcement
effectively against a
Campaign – Guidance on
specific problem –
Problem Profiles from the
embodies key features
UCL Jill Dando Institute
of problem orientated
(linked in online PDF version).
policing (POP) but
Can include premises targeted at alcohol-
profiling which assesses related issues.
issues relating to specific
• To target resources
licensed premises. Analyses
effectively against a
extent and type of crime and
specific premises.
disorder including temporal
analysis and MO overview. • To monitor any
developments in
Powerful when used with
recorded crime,
crime pattern analysis which
incidents, premises of
uses a combination of
note, etc.
geographical and temporal
analysis of crime and • Used in strategic and
disorder – e.g. time/location tactical planning to
of violence against the identify ‘hot spots’ and
person (VAP) in the street. plan responses.
Useful tool for considering
• Can use geographic
cumulative impact policy.
information systems
(GIS) now in use in
most police forces.
• Can produce maps
highlighting areas and
patterns of crimes,
offences and incidents
that are alcohol related.

Results Evaluates the effectiveness of Police – but can • Using results analysis
analysis responses to specific issues. be any authority will identify which
or agency responses are the most
effective for various


Pro-active options
The following options cover preventative and pre-enforcement activities such as providing support,
observing and monitoring premises and areas, and formal and informal warnings, among other
things. They cover single and multi-agency operations and include technical options.

Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Education and information
Education and Provide specific education Licensing For:
information for and information for owners, officer or any
• new licensees/staff;
licensees, bar licensees and staff of authority or
staff, premises licensed premises (‘on’ agency, • staff at ‘problem
and security or ‘off’). including the premises’.
staff BII

Education and Provide specific education Police – but can To:

information for and information for be any authority
• encourage a more
enforcement personnel. or agency
confident and
pro-active approach;
• ensure that officials
know the full extent of
their responsibilities,
powers and how to
use them.
General area activities – routine or targeted

High Visibility HVP of an area. Police To:

Policing (HVP)
• prevent/detect
drunkenness, violence,
• address area-specific

HVP – other HVP and overt presence of Police – but can To:
agencies guardians, e.g. street be any authority
• provide community
wardens, police community or agency
support officers, SIA door
staff, taxi marshals, street • provide information,
pastors, other local authority help and advice;
and emergency services, • gather information and
etc. intelligence;
• provide a visible
presence and


Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Search powers Use of stop and search Police • S.60 powers can be
powers with regard to authorised where
patrons queuing for, appropriate to search
entering or leaving, or if people and vehicles
appropriate within, the entering a designated
premises. area.
Also consider use of S.60 of • To obtain evidence of
the Criminal Justice and use of drugs or
Public Order Act 1994. weapons by patrons.
• When used overtly, can
have a preventative
and deterrent impact.

Premises – targeted and ad hoc visits

Overt visits to Targeted or ad hoc visits to Police To:

premises – by the premises by uniformed
• respond to incidents;
police patrol police officers – all visits
officers and recorded. • build rapport with
neighbourhood staff;
Usually carried out by
policing teams • gather intelligence;
response and
neighbourhood • identify breaches of
policing/safer community conditions;
• identify offences;
• target single issues of
non-compliance or
increase supervision
of premises;
• detect drunkenness.


Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Overt visits to Targeted or ad hoc visits to Police and To:
premises – by the premises, including full responsible
• investigate and
specialist completion of a visit record authority
prosecute offences;
licensing using a pro-forma template. licensing
officers officers • assess and monitor
Also consider use of overt
compliance with
video recording and/or still
conditions of premises
• assess and monitor
supervision and
• consider any further
actions necessary by
• provide advice and
• confirm incident and
intelligence reports.

Overt visits to Visits by: Appropriate To:

premises – by authority
• environmental health • investigate and
other agencies
officers (EHOs); prosecute offences;
• HM Revenue and • assess and monitor
Customs; compliance with
conditions of premises
• fire service;
• trading standards;
• assess and monitor
• Department for Work and supervision and
Pensions; management
• immigration; arrangements;

• TV licensing; • consider any further

actions necessary by
• planning department; management;
• Health and Safety • provide advice and
Executive. guidance;
N.B. Ensure co-ordination of • confirm
visits wherever possible. incident/intelligence


Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Covert visits to Covert visits to the Police and/or To:
premises premises. police licensing
• gather intelligence;
officer and
Also consider use of covert
responsible • confirm incident and
video and audio recording
authority intelligence reports;
with appropriate authorities.
officers • check on levels of
supervision and
• obtain evidence of
offences and breaches
of licence conditions;
• obtain evidence of
‘other’ offences – e.g.
drug offences;
• tackle offences of
sales to drunks and
purchase of alcohol by
young people.
Observations Conduct observations in the Police and/or To:
vicinity of the venue to police licensing
• assess and gather
assess compliance with officer and
evidence of
legislative provisions. responsible
compliance with
legislative provisions;
• assess and gather
evidence of impact of
the premises in locality.
Test purchase Test purchase operations. Normally joint To identify and gather
operations – off operation evidence of:
N.B. To engage senior
licensed and between
company representatives in • sales to underage
on licensed trading
enhancing local people;
premises standards and
arrangements at the
police • failure to comply with
appropriate time, notify the
conditions, e.g.
premises licence holder,
Challenge 21;
regional manager, etc. of
the time and date of all • persistently selling to
proper challenges and young people (Violent
failed test purchases (see Crime Reduction Act
related resources in online 2006);
PDF version). • out-of-hours sales;
• unlicensed sales;
• when appropriate,
inform company of
both passes and
failures so they can
provide recognition or
ensure remedial action.


Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Tackle drugs Use of passive drugs dogs, Police To:
problems drugs analysis machines to
• prevent and disrupt
test patrons as a
criminal activity;
requirement for entry,
swipes of surfaces during • gather intelligence;
visits to test for controlled • obtain evidence;
• investigate and
N.B. Could be used as prosecute offences.
preliminary option or to
support an application for a
search warrant under the
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Technical options

Operational General monitoring Can be any To:

use of CCTV authority or
Use street or mobile CCTV • monitor and/or record
systems for general for intelligence,
monitoring in relation to an information or
area/premises. evidential gathering

Targeted use of CCTV Police – but can To:

be any authority
Coverage of specific • change CCTV tour
or agency
areas/premises by changing pre-sets or deploy
covered by the
‘pre-sets’ on CCTV systems additional capability to
or utilising additional cover specific periods,
coverage. areas/premises as
N.B. Where the requirement identified by
is for monitoring of a intelligence;
specific premises, persons
• monitor and/or record
or group of persons,
for intelligence,
consider Regulation of
information or
Investigatory Powers Act
evidential gathering
(RIPA) 2000 implications.

• enable cataloguing of
various types of
incident in a schedule;

• support police
operations and patrol

• use CCTV centre as a

forward control for
specific operations or
peak periods.


Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Use of overt Use overt videoing of the As above • Monitor and/or record
video/still venue, outside queue, door for intelligence,
cameras staff, searching, dispersal, information or
etc. evidential gathering
N.B. Can request venues to
undertake this; can also • Act as a deterrent.
consider as a licensing
condition. No need for RIPA
if overt.

Seizure of Seizure and review of the Police • Review for intelligence

CCTV records premises’ own CCTV purposes.
from premises material. (Check time/date
• Use for evidential
stamp on recordings with
• Provide receipt and
ensure evidential
• Can require co-
operation as a licence

‘Soft’ enforcement

Prioritise Use data to compare one Police – but can • Normally used as part
problem premises against another be any authority of a preventative
premises and then produce a or agency strategy.
prioritised list of problem
• Can be used to target
premises which can then be
resources, intelligence
disclosed to premises of
collection, further
analysis and
• Powerful lever to
encourage premises to
help tackle and reduce
levels of violence and


Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Recognition Recognise good standards CDRP/CSP or • Encourages
and award management practice – e.g. local trade responsible
schemes Best Bar None scheme. management to
achieve necessary
high standards and
good management.

• Publicity can draw

customers to safer
venues – e.g. Best Bar
None scheme.

Warn licensees Visit premises to warn Police and/or • Initial face-to-face

– at venue licensee about non- police licensing meeting for less
compliance, and keep officer serious breaches.
written record.
• Can build rapport and
trust with licensee,
staff to promote
effective working
relationships, etc.

Write to Provide a formal letter with Police and/or To:

licensees details of issues and police licensing
concerns to premises officer and • warn of minor
licence holder, designated responsible breaches;
premises supervisor and, if authority • reinforce previous
relevant, senior officers face-to-face meetings;
management of the
company. • provide feedback
where good practice
has been identified.

Detailed action Work with premises licence Police and/or • The action plan is for
plan holder, designated premises police licensing the premises to finalise
supervisor and, if officer and and undertake to
appropriate, senior responsible complete.
management of the authority
company to agree a officers • Document any refusal
detailed action plan to help to co-operate.
them better manage their • Agree how and when
situation, including a the action plan will be
monitoring process. Ensure monitored.
plan is SMART (Specific –
Measurable – Achievable – • If you fail to agree an
Relevant – Time bound). action plan or if it
does not solve issues,
consider a review.


Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Request Discuss with premises Police and/or • Can provide
voluntary licence holder to agree a police licensing necessary time gap
closure voluntary closure of officer and and opportunity to
premises, avoiding S.161 responsible prevent escalation of
closure (see related authority problems and
resources in online PDF officers implement changes.
• Can lead to reduction
in resource
requirement if S.161
closure process used.
• Monitor displacement.

Use media Inform local community of Police – but can • Normally used as part
to alert problems and action being be any authority of a preventative
community of taken which may change or agency strategy.
problem customers’ habits and
• Can be discussed at
premises willingness of the premises
meetings to exert
to work in partnership.
leverage or pressure.
• Consider expert
advice of press office
in handling.

Positive Publicise good news stories Police – but can • Can be used to
publicity – details of initiatives, be any authority identify premises,
improvements, success or agency individuals and
stories and, where organisations playing
necessary, prosecutions their part in preventing
and reviews. and reducing violence
and disorder.
• Can also be used in
conjunction with the
above media option
and the identification
of problem premises.


Legal options

Option Description Lead agency Suggested use


Review Review of premises licence, Police and/or Enforces intervention by

S.51, Licensing Act 2003. interested giving it legal effect. Can
parties or include:
authorities • modifying or adding
licence conditions;
• excluding licensed
activity or altering
• removing designated
premises supervisor;
• suspending licence for
up to three months;
• revocation of premises

Penalty Notice Early intervention package Police • AMEC operations.

for Disorder for disorder and licensing
• Joint licensing
• Everyday policing.

Closure Notice Threaten and/or use Police and/or • Can be used following
Closure Notice under S.19 police licensing a breach of licence
of the Criminal Justice and officer and condition as a lever to
Police Act 2001 to ensure responsible force improvement
compliance or initiate authority and compliance.
closure (see related officers
• Failure to comply with
resources on online PDF
a Closure Notice can
trigger an application
to the Magistrates’
Court for a Closure


Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Closure powers Use Closure Orders under Police or, in the • Utilise powers to close
Ss.160–161 of the case of public premises where
Licensing Act 2003. nuisance disorder may arise, or
caused by where this is public
(See related resources in noise nuisance, nuisance being
online PDF version.) environmental caused by noise
Seek a magistrates’ order health officers coming from a
for closure under S.1 of premises.
Anti-social Behaviour Act • To close problem
2003. premises where
reasonable grounds to
N.B. Test purchase evidence
believe that premises
on the supply of ecstasy,
are used to produce,
cocaine or other Class A
supply or consume
drugs would provide the
Class A drugs and are
necessary evidence
causing a nuisance to
(sometimes referred to as
the public.
crack house closure powers).
Can lead to closure
(See related resources in within 48 hours for an
online PDF version.) initial period of three
months up to six months.

General area

Designated To prohibit the drinking of Local authority • Use where specific

Public Place alcohol in designated public areas have been
Orders (DPPOs) areas under Ss.12–16 of identified as being a
the Criminal Justice and focus for alcohol-
Police Act 2001. related violence and
anti-social behaviour –
e.g. city centres,
outside venues, public
parks, etc.

Confiscation of Use to confiscate alcohol Police • To remove and seize

alcohol (both sealed and open alcohol where required
containers) from adults who and appropriate.
are causing, or who are
N.B. S.155 of the
likely to cause, a public
Licensing Act 2003
nuisance in areas subject to
extends S.12 of the
a DPPO (see above).
Criminal Justice and
Use to confiscate alcohol Police Act 2001 and S.1
(both sealed and open of the Confiscation of
containers) from young Alcohol Young Persons
people in public places Act 1997.
where the police believe
they have been drinking or
intend to drink alcohol in
that place.


Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Cumulative Provide evidence to Police • Use where specific
impact policy licensing authority of need areas have become
for cumulative impact policy ‘saturated’ as a focus
to be adopted in a for alcohol-related
particular area. Once violence and anti-
adopted, this creates a social behaviour.
rebuttable presumption that
any new licences would not
be granted in this area.

Secured by Design out crime and Police Useful at:

Design and nuisance by seeking expert
planning issues opinions of planning • provisional statement
officers and crime stage;
reduction and architectural • initial grant stage;
liaison officers.
• planning application
Can use to consider
temporary street closures
and positioning of
amenities – e.g. transport
facilities and size, mix of
premises, etc.

Safety Advisory Set up a panel of advisory Police and other • To vet all large- to
Group experts, including fire, authorities medium-scale
police, ambulance, local premises’ applications
authority, etc. in advance of a formal

Dispersal Implement Dispersal Police and local • Use where specific

Orders Orders under Part 4, authority areas have been
Ss.30–36 of the Anti-social identified as being a
Behaviour Act 2003. focus for persistent
anti-social behaviour,
disorder or
• Use to direct
individuals to disperse
and leave an area for
up to 24 hours.
• After 9pm, can be
used to return young
people under 16 to
their home addresses.


Option Description Lead agency Suggested use

Potential options under the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006

Alcohol Enable police or Police or • To use in specific

Disorder Zones responsible authority as a responsible areas where other
(ADZs) last resort to apply for an authority work, including use of
area to be designated as the Licensing Act
an ADZ. 2003, has not
delivered a reduction
in alcohol-related
crime and disorder.

Drinking Similar concept to ASBOs, Police or • Use against problem

Banning Orders but specifically relate to licensing individuals to protect
persons responsible for authority others from drunken
alcohol-related crime and behaviour.
disorder and are between
two months and two years
in duration.

Direction to Empowers police to direct Police • Use to defuse

Leave individuals to leave a potential problems
locality for up to 48 hours. and prevent alcohol-
related crime or
disorder in that locality.

Expedited Enable licensing authority Police • To respond quickly to

licensing to consider interim steps a new problem where
reviews within 48 hours, pending a a senior police officer
review – e.g. conditions, certifies that the
removal of designated premises are
premises supervisor, associated with
suspension of licence, serious crime or
modification or exclusion of serious disorder.
sale of alcohol.
Persistently New offence committed by Police or trading • Can offer option to
selling to premises licence holder if standards prohibit the sale of
children three or more sales to alcohol for up to 48
children are made within a hours as an alternative
three-month period. to prosecution.
• Useful to deal with
• Provides high-profile
• Brings premises to the
public’s attention.


Section 4 of the Licensing Act 2003 clearly defines one of the primary functions of licensing
authorities as being to ensure that the four objectives of the Act are not undermined. The four
objectives of the Act are:

1 the prevention of crime and disorder;

2 the prevention of public nuisance;

3 public safety; and

4 the protection of children from harm.

The Act also enables the placing of conditions on a premises licence to support the maintenance
of the four objectives.

Placing conditions
Placing a clear description of these conditions on a licence has been found to be very useful to
define the steps that need to be taken to ensure that the objectives of the Act are not undermined.

Clearly defining the required conditions also means that the premises licence holder and the
enforcement agencies know what to expect in terms of the standards required for the safe
operation of the venue/premises.

Enforcing conditions
Under the Licensing Act 2003, any such conditions placed on a premises’ licence are
enforceable, as a breach of a licence condition is now a criminal matter. On summary conviction
an offender may be liable to six months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to £2,000 or both.

Supporting this power, paragraph 127 of Schedule 6 of the Licensing Act 2003 expands the
powers under Sections 19–28 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 so that they apply to
any premises selling alcohol for consumption on the premises in breach of its licence conditions.
For example, if CCTV was required as a condition of the licence and it was found not to be
operating, closure powers under this Act could be invoked by either the police or the local authority.

Closure of licensed premises is a two-stage process:

1 The first stage involves serving a Closure Notice requiring the recipient to take action to cease
the illegal activity or, in effect, to cure the breach of any licence condition that is occurring.

2 The second stage occurs if the police or the local authority are not satisfied that the breach
has been remedied, or if unauthorised sales are continuing. In this case they may seek a Closure
Order from a Magistrates’ Court. The application for a Closure Order must be made not less than
seven days, and not more than six months, after the Closure Notice was first served.

The Closure Order may:

1 physically close the premises to members of the public until a constable or local authority
terminates the order; and/or

2 require that unauthorised alcohol sales be discontinued immediately; and

3 also require the defendant to pay a sum of money to the court which will not be released until
the other requirements of the order are met.

Defining conditions
Conditions must be tailored to a premises and the specific problems it encounters. When
suggesting suitable conditions, they must be necessary for the particular premises involved,
taking into account its size, style and characteristics. Conditions should not just be standard or
blanket conditions, but must relate to the specific and individual needs of each case.

Note that the conditions are additional to any statutory conditions catered for in other legislation
or the Licensing Act itself, and it is not possible to include a condition that is already covered by
other legislation and would therefore duplicate it. For example:

• ‘No disorderly conduct shall be allowed on the premises’. This is covered by Section 140
of the Licensing Act 2003.

However, conditions can expand on matters covered by other legislation. For example, Section
140 of the Licensing Act 2003 makes it an offence to allow disorderly conduct on a licensed
premises, so this could not be a condition. However, it would be possible to have conditions that
would help to reduce the risk of disorderly conduct in the first place, such as:

• ‘The premises shall not operate drinks promotions whereby the minimum price for a
single drink is less than £1.50.’

• ‘The premises shall not conduct multiple drinks promotions such as 2 for 1 or 3 for 2.’

However, when seeking conditions such as those above, it will be important to demonstrate a
clear link between sales promotions and discounting and levels of disorder on or in the vicinity of
the premises. It is also important that such approaches relate to individual premises. Any attempt
to apply blanket conditions on price promotions are contrary to the Licensing Act 2003 and risk
breaching competition law.

Successful convictions
Successful convictions will only result where conditions are clear and specific and it is possible
to gather evidence to show that the condition(s) have in fact been breached.

So a condition that requires a specific number of Security Industry Authority (SIA) registered door
supervisors to be working at the premises at a specified time – and even at a particular place on
the premises – can easily be checked and verified by the police. Whereas a condition that states
that ‘random drug searches may be carried out’ is almost impossible to prove.

In agreeing conditions, it is often the case that operators will offer up a condition that uses the
word ‘may’. This should be challenged by any enforcement agency reviewing the wording of a
proposed condition, as this can also be read as ‘may not’, so it would be impossible to enforce or
demonstrate non-compliance.


Issues and factors to consider

The following sections provide a checklist of questions which address some of the key issues
and factors that could assist in defining conditions and assessing their suitability, to ensure that
the objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 are not undermined. However, it should be noted that
many of the approaches suggested here may represent significant costs to the business and/or
restrictions on the operation of the premises. It is therefore important that such measures are
considered to be proportionate and justifiable to address specific problems associated with
particular premises. Conditions that are requested as a matter of routine or applied in blanket
fashion risk being rejected by the licensing authority or challenged in the courts on appeal.

Admission to venues
• Who will supervise:

– customers queuing to get in?

– the use of suitable crowd control measures?

• CCTV coverage of the entrance and queue. How will you ensure:

– the CCTV includes a full-face quality image of persons entering/leaving the premises?

– the retention of images?

– how, when and where the responsible authorities may access the material?

• Is there a need to ID scan customers entering the building?

• What are the levels and gender mix of door supervision and what are the times when it
is required?

• Where is the most effective location of door supervisors at those particular premises –
e.g. by the entrance and exit, near the bar?

• What are the signage requirements?

• What should the capacity limits on certain activities or events be and how will it be
ensured that the occupancy figures are not exceeded?

• Is there a need for a restriction on time of entry to a premises – e.g. where other
premises in the locality close at an earlier time?

Age-related problems
• Is there a need for:

– the active use of accredited proof of age schemes – e.g. the use of photocard driving
licences and passports and Challenge 21 pass schemes?

– proof of age signage? Who will be challenged and how will it work?

– conditions relating to children’s events?

– a refusals register for ID checks and prescription of what details it should contain?

– considering the age of admission – e.g. the exclusion of under-18s, either totally or
through placing a restriction on the areas where children are permitted at certain
times, particularly in relation to adult entertainment establishments?


Dispersal of customers
• What are the levels of supervision required in and outside the building, and for how long
are they required?

• Is there a need for notices and announcements to advise customers to respect the
neighbourhood and keep disturbance and noise to a minimum when leaving the premises?

• Where late operating hours are not granted, do you need conditions regarding a set
time for patrons to leave the premises after the end of operating hours?

• What are the levels of music and how will it change as the night draws to a close?

• Provision of transport – what will be provided and how will customers access it – e.g.
availability of a free phone link to private hire or taxi companies to arrange transport for
patrons leaving?

Searching and drugs

• Maintenance of search records – what will be contained within them, when will they be
used, by whom will they be used and what are the policies for dealing with the seizure
and retention of recovered drugs and other prohibited items and notification to the

• What are the circumstances under which searches will be conducted?

• Where will searches take place – under CCTV?

• Should you define the use of suitable detection devices for searching of customers to
detect weapons and drugs and when and where they will be used?

• What steps should be taken within the premises to prevent drug misuse – e.g. regular
checks of the toilets and a log to be kept of when checks are done and what was found?

• Would police dogs be useful?

Welfare and health of customers

• Should you:

– prevent glass vessels, bottles or alcohol being taken out of the premises or taken into
a public place other than a beer garden or similar area attached to the premises (as
long as the garden or area do not directly adjoin the public highway)?

– consider the use of a plan clearly defining these areas?

– require secure bottle bins to be supervised at every exit?

– prohibit glass vessels or bottles and prescribe the use of plastic containers for certain
activities, events or during certain periods?

– set the ratio of door supervisors to customers?

– prescribe the use of metal detectors for searching customers and how and when they
will be used?

– set internal levels of supervision and when and where supervisors are required?


• Are adequate SIA registered staff of the appropriate gender available for the searching
of male and female customers? What is the extent of the search that is required?

• Should you prescribe accident/incident books for recording bodily injury and incidents
which take place within the premises or in the vicinity? If so, they should be bound,
sequentially numbered and made available to responsible authorities when requested.

• Internal CCTV – is it of a standard acceptable to the police and in positions agreed with
the police – preferably shown on a plan?

• Are qualified first aid personnel present during certain times or for certain events – e.g.
when there are large numbers of people attending?

Premises design
• Occupancy – what should the total number of patrons be and what number per room?
How will this be regulated?

• What is the ratio of available seating to customers? Is it adequate?

• Should you prescribe the provision of CCTV and define where cameras are located, how
long material is to be retained, and who will have access to it and how they will get that

• What is the type and weight of furniture available – particularly in outside areas where
its movement may cause danger to the users of the premises or other persons?

• Is there a need for openings to the premises that prevent noise pollution from within the
premises – e.g. a double door entry system with closure springs?

• Are mirrors necessary to aid supervision and management within the premises? If so,
where should they be placed?

• Should alcohol only be displayed or sold within a specified and specially restricted and
supervised area of a large retail store?

Management of premises
• Should you prescribe membership of, and participation in, Pub Watch, radio links or
similar schemes to share information on persons who cause disorder, and to co-operate
to prevent their entry into licensed premises?

• Is there a need for the physical presence of the designated premises supervisor and/or
a premises licence holder at certain times, or for specific events or activities when there
are customers on the premises?

• What is the internal layout? Do you need conditions to ease congestion around pinch
point areas – e.g. a ‘Keep Clear Zone’ to be clearly marked around access to toilets,
access to the dance floor, access to the bar area, etc.?

• Collection of empty glasses and bottles – how should this be done, by whom and when?

• Is there a requirement for the volume of amplified entertainment to be reduced after a

certain time – e.g. to a level that cannot be heard outside the premises?


• Should there be specified patrols by qualified staff around the vicinity of the premises to
ensure that there is minimal noise nuisance at times when certain events are taking

• Should you restrict times that external areas such as beer gardens are used?

• Is there the right level and availability of staff – e.g. a minimum level of staffing in an off
licence, or permanent presence of a dedicated staff floor walker in the alcohol section
of a large retail store?

• Should details such as the premises summary, the operating hours of the premises, and
the name of the designated premises supervisor be displayed?

• Is there a need for specific management personnel – e.g. the designated premises
supervisor – to make themselves readily available and attend meetings with officials to
police or local authority staff to discuss issues.

Adult entertainment
• How will they ensure that children cannot access the entertainment?

• How will children be protected?

• How is the safety of the performers ensured?

Please note: The above list is not intended to be an exhaustive list and should only be viewed as
a sample of the issues and factors which may be useful to consider when developing conditions
for premises’ licences.

Whatever conditions are used, they should be necessary and proportionate and must be
designed to ensure that the four objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 are not undermined
(namely, the prevention of crime and disorder, the prevention of public nuisance, public safety
and the protection of children from harm). If the condition does not directly do this then it will not
be enforceable.


The online PDF version of this guide contains links to a wealth of additional sources of
information, and we would encourage you to access them.

The Tackling Violent Crime Programme has been effective, and the initiatives to tackle alcohol-
related violence and domestic violence will continue to be developed and built into everyday

The Government remains committed to dealing with this issue and the Violent Crime Reduction
Act 2006 will provide the police, national and local government and other bodies with greater and
more flexible capability, including additional enforcement powers and options designed to reduce
alcohol-related crime and disorder.

The Police and Crime Standards Directorate, through the Police Standards Unit, will continue to
promote and support operational approaches and initiatives in this area.

ACPO, through the Licensing Portfolio, has also re-established the National Police Licensing
Forum which will provide single points of contact in forces throughout England and Wales. This
will make available a network for the sharing of good practice and lessons learned.

To support this, it is intended that this guidance becomes a ‘living document’ and is kept up to
date by locating it on the Home Office Crime Reduction website ( for
you to share your experiences and learning in this area.


The Crime and Police Standards Directorate is grateful to the authors of this document:

• Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Mann – Police Standards Unit

• Stephen Chapman – Field Worker, Home Office Violent Crime Unit

• Inspector Paul Winter – Local Area Commander, Nottingham City Centre

• Heather Middleton – Deputy Force Solicitor, Nottinghamshire Police

• Inspector Duncan Slade – Licensing Department, Westminster Borough, Metropolitan

Police Service

Thanks are also due to the following for their efforts and assistance in producing this document:

• Chief Inspector Steve Furnham – Cardiff BCU, South Wales Police

• Chief Inspector Amanda Dellar – Metropolitan Police Service

• Chief Inspector Karen Ravenscroft – Alcohol Lead, Police Standards Unit

• Inspector Neil Mutch – Sheffield BCU, South Yorkshire Police

• James Aitkin – Force Licensing Officer, Gwent Police

• Andy Pownall – Field Worker, Home Office Violent Crime Unit

• Andy Smith – Violent Crime Lead, Government Office for the West Midlands

• Corinne Chamberlain – Violent Crime Lead, Government Office for the South West

• James Findlay – Barrister

• Gary Purser – Project Facilitator, Gary Purser & Associates

Produced by COI on behalf of the Home Office. November 2006. Ref: 278065