Licensing Act 2003

The licensing of alcohol, certain types of entertainment and late night refreshment is the responsibility of the local authority and is governed by the Licensing Act 2003.

There are four licensable activities contained within the Act:

  • Sale of alcohol by retail
  • Supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club, to, or to the order of, a member of a club
  • Provision of regulated entertainment
  • Provision of late night refreshment.

To make sure that licensable activities are carried out in the public interest we must operate according to the four licensing objectives.

  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • Prevention of public nuisance
  • Protection of children from harm.

Drinks promotions

Since the introduction of the mandatory code regarding drinks promotions in 2010, there has been considerable confusion amongst the licensed trade, the police and licensing authorities in the understanding of the meaning of an irresponsible drinks promotion. This has been largely due to difficulties in the interpretation of the relevant condition above. It is understood that the government intends to amend these mandatory conditions to ensure that everyone is clear on the meaning of an irresponsible promotion.

Licensees and premises supervisors are reminded of their moral and social responsibilities in making sure that they do not offer any promotions which are designed to encourage people to drink excessive amounts of alcohol, or to drink more than they normally would. 

Operators are asked to consult either us or the Police Partnership Team before proceeding with any drinks promotions.

We have produced a guidance document outlining the mandatory conditions all licensed premises must follow regarding irresponsible promotions.

Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011

The government set a clear commitment to overhaul alcohol licensing to tackle the crime and disorder caused by alcohol and the resultant health and social harms, and to rebalance the Licensing Act 2003 in favour of local communities. The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 makes a number of amendments to the Licensing Act and the majority of the new provisions were introduced on 25 April 2012.

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