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Understanding the licensing objectives

All licence applications must comply with four licensing objectives, namely:

The following is for guidance only and is not an exhaustive list of the measures that need to be taken to ensure that a licence application meets the objectives. Items listed in the objectives section of the application will become conditions of the licence.

The prevention of crime and disorder

Enforcement agencies and licence holders have a duty to do all that is reasonably possible in reducing and preventing crime and disorder in their area under the following legislation:

The essential purpose of a licence holder taking responsibility under this objective is to regulate behaviour on their premises that have access to licensable activities. The licence holder can only seek to manage the behaviour of customers in and the immediate vicinity around their premises as they seek to enter or leave but beyond that point they do not have any control.

Objections and complaints from interested parties

Medway Council, as the licensing authority, may take into account and recognise that certain criminal activity or associated problems may be taking place or have taken place despite the best efforts of the licensee and the staff working at the premises. In such circumstances, the council is empowered to take any necessary steps to remedy the problems. Its role is to promote the licensing objectives in the interests of the wider community rather than determine guilt or innocence of individuals. Such issues are for the courts of law.

If you are considering objecting, reviewing a licence or making a complaint, you must provide evidence that you have seen an issue in relation to the following at first-hand:

  • breaches of licensing conditions, authorised activities or authorised hours;
  • a criminal offence (which should be reported to the police first);
  • anti-social behaviour.

Licence holders or applicants applying for a licence or certificate

As part of the application process, applicants must consider the impact of their premises in relation to the licensing objectives. They should consider implementing the measures listed below. The Responsible Authorities may, in any case, ask for these measures to be put in place.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV)

Install a digital or analogue CCTV system in accordance with the CCTV Code of Practice.

Cameras must:

  • be installed internally and externally;
  • be maintained in good working order;
  • cover all points of access and egress;
  • ensure good coverage of all public areas;
  • incorporate a recording facility that allows recordings to be stored for at least a calendar month.

The system should be fully-operational and record throughout the hours the premises are open for any licensable activity. The police and council officers must be given access to the recordings on request.

Safer Medway Partnership

Further details about becoming a member of this scheme can be obtained by contacting the co-ordinator on 01634 818910.

The aims and objectives of the scheme are to:

  • provide instant communication to fellow businesses in Medway;
  • help reduce and to deter criminality along with anti-social behaviour by excluding people from businesses within the partnership;
  • help reduce retail crime losses for scheme members;
  • help make Medway a great place to live, work, shop, socialise and visit;
  • help promote communication between the police, Medway Council and local businesses;
  • enable members to apply for the Home Office's Action Against Business Crime and Gold, Silver and Bronze Safer Socialising Awards.

Support provided to members includes:

  • a quality radio with unique ID and charger;
  • a photo sharing scheme;
  • an exclusion notice scheme;
  • internet data and information access;
  • the Safer Business and Safer Socialising Awards;
  • the services of an intelligence co-ordinator;
  • information and training advice.

Door supervisors and security staff

Licence holders or applicants must only employ staff who are registered with the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Door supervisors should be employed:

  • during the evening at weekends, on bank holidays and on special occasions, such as festivals and major sporting events;
  • to monitor and to restrict access to the premises and circulate inside the premises, dealing with troublemakers and escorting them from the premises;
  • to carry out random drug and weapon searches of customers;
  • to monitor the flow of customers to prevent overcrowding.

Logging information in a Crime and Disorder Incident Book

Licence holders should keep a book available for staff to record all incidents that happen at the premises and in the immediate vicinity. This record can be used should a crime take place on licensed premises or a complaint is made about the premises or the staff. This record can be used in the licence holder's defence should they attend court or a Licensing Panel to show due diligence.

The Incident Book should contain the following:

  • the date and time of the incident;
  • a general description of the incident;
  • a description of offenders and or persons involved (with names if possible);
  • the member of staff dealing with the incident;
  • any general comments by the staff in relation to possible repercussions etc.

Staff training for alcohol establishments

All staff must be trained on the appropriate aspects of licensing legislation and in particular on underage sales to the minimum BIIAB Level 1 Award in Responsible Alcohol Retailing to support the responsibilities of the Designated Premises Supervisor. Licence holders must maintain training records so that they are available for inspection at the request of police and council officers.

Drugs

Drug misuse can cause many problems, from poor attainment in education to an increase in crime. The council, along with the Home Office, is working hard to help individuals and communities overcome the problem.

To help the police tackle drug abuse in the night-time economy, licence holders can:

  • incorporate the use of Iontrack swabbing as a condition of entry when requested;
  • swab public areas regularly, as agreed;
  • allow drug dogs to enter licensed premises and monitor customers waiting to enter licensed premises;
  • have a premises drug policy;
  • display posters in the premises;
  • train staff on drug awareness.

Crime prevention

Licence holders should invest in making their premises secure and reduce the chance of them being targeted for crime by taking the following steps:

Alarms

  • Fit intruder alarms with combination of door and window contacts and movement detectors.
  • Install a panic or response alarm behind the servery or counter to assist staff.

Lighting

  • Install movement-activated lighting in the rear garden and car park area.
  • Put permanent lighting around the exterior of the premises.
  • Leave the lights on inside the premises at night.

Locks

  • Use mortice locks on front and back doors.
  • Lock toilets at night to isolate them from the rest of the premises.
  • Lock any private residences during trading hours.

Excess stock

  • Store excess stock in the cellar, away from customer access.
  • Keep it in a storage room that is locked at all times.
  • Put it in a lockable cabinet.

Fruit machines (AWPs)

  • Empty them overnight and place the contents in a safe.
  • Place them in view of the servery so that staff can monitor the people using them.
  • Fruit machines are illegal in taxi offices or takeaways.

Safes

  • Install a time-lock safe in the cellar.
  • Keep all money in a safe set in concrete in the private residence above the licensed area, away from customer access.

Cash registers

  • Install registers away from customer access.
  • On closing, remove all money and leave the drawer open.

Weapons

  • Secure all display items to the wall.
  • Use only toughened glasses.
  • Use plastic glasses in gardens and during festivals or special events.

 

Public safety

Objections and complaints from interested parties

The council, as the licensing authority, cannot take into account any issues that are dealt with in other legislation, such as public health, cleanliness or hygiene.

If you are considering objecting, reviewing a licence or making a complaint you must provide evidence that you have seen an issue in relation to the following at first-hand:

  • overcrowding (leading to an increased risk of violence or to the safety of people in the premises);
  • fire issues (which should be reported to the fire service first);
  • anyone being hurt or having an accident in licensed premises (who should seek medical care and report to the relevant authorities).

Licence holders or applicants applying for a licence or certificate

The public safety objective is concerned with the physical safety of the people performing in and staff and customers using the relevant premises and not with public health.

Where there is a requirement in other legislation for premises open to the public or for employers to possess certificates attesting to the safety or satisfactory nature of certain equipment or fixtures on the premises, it would be unnecessary for a licensing condition to be placed on the premises licence or club premises certificate.

As part of the application process, applicants must consider the impact of their premises in relation to the licensing objectives. They should consider implementing the measures listed below.

Fire regulations

The premises should comply with all statutory fire safety controls.

Guidance and information is available from Communities and Local Government or Kent Fire Rescue Service.

Food safety

The premises must comply with all food safety regulations.

Disabled facilities

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 introduced new laws aimed at ending the discrimination that many disabled people face. The Act gave disabled people new rights of access to goods, facilities and services, as well as in employment and buying or renting property.

If it is impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use a licence holder's services, they may be required to:

  • take reasonable steps to change their practices, policies or procedures or provide a reasonable alternative method of making their services available to disabled people;
  • take reasonable steps to provide an auxiliary aid or service to assist or enable disabled people to use their service.

The following are examples of reasonable adjustments:

  • reading the menu to a customer with visual impairment and/or providing large print menus;
  • disabled customer paying the waiter rather than queuing at the till on way out;
  • installing an accessible lavatory, depending on available space and resources;
  • adapting the premises for wheelchair access.

Health and safety

There are various websites that can provide you with information on health and safety, including that of the Health and Safety Executive.

Licensed premises can cover a wide range of activities. All licensed premises involve a great deal of interaction with members of the public.

Fatalities to employees in these industries are comparatively rare but serious injuries do occur. The main causes of injuries continue to be:

  • falls from height;
  • workplace transport;
  • slips and trips;
  • manual handling;
  • slips on wet or food contaminated floors;
  • being struck by something (such as sharp knives or falling objects);
  • machinery.

The main causes of occupational ill health continue to be:

  • musculoskeletal injuries;
  • dermatitis;
  • noise;
  • occupational asthma;
  • rhinitis;
  • work-related stress.

Overheating

Licence holders should provide air conditioning and ventilation to control temperature and humidity. Some licensed premises may have restrictions in relation to opening doors and windows during regulated entertainment.

 

The prevention of public nuisance

Public nuisance is given a statutory meaning in many pieces of legislation. It is, however, not narrowly defined in the Licensing Act 2003  and retains its broad common law meaning. The issues mainly concern noise nuisance, light pollution, noxious smells and litter.

Objections and complaints from interested parties

Public nuisance could include low-level nuisance, perhaps affecting a few people living locally as well as major disturbance affecting the whole community. Examples of nuisance could include:

If you are considering objecting, reviewing a licence or making a complaint, you must provide evidence that you have experienced a nuisance issue at first hand. Please make sure that you have:

  • reported the incident to the relevant authorities in the first instance and
  • the incident has happened on a repeated basis.

Licence holders and applicants applying for a licence or certificate

The essential purpose of a licence holder taking responsibility under this objective is to make sure that all reasonable steps have been taken to prevent disruption to their neighbours. It is recommended that they consider the following measures:

Noise

Noise from commercial premises is often dealt with in the same way as that from domestic premises. However, in some cases the council's Environmental Health Department may need to prove a statutory nuisance exists at the licensed premises. It may then issue a notices to ensure that the disturbance caused to the general public is kept to a minimum. To try to avoid this, licence holders should:

  • keep windows and doors closed during regulated entertainment;
  • use sound-proofing in the area used for live entertainment;
  • install acoustic lobbies at the entrances and exits of the premises;
  • install a sound limiter;
  • close gardens and open air areas at 11pm;
  • place notices at the entrances and exits to remind customers to leave quietly;
  • move speakers away from walls adjacent to residential properties.

Rubbish and litter

Licence holders should:

  • keep rubbish bins and glass refuse at the rear of the premises, away from public access;
  • put a bin outside the entrance of the premises;
  • not empty bottles, bins and rubbish between 11pm and 7am.

Car parking

Licence holders should provide:

  • car parking facilities for the use of customers;
  • details of the nearest public car park;
  • notices advising customers not to park in residents' driveways and not to block the highway.

Residents associations

Licence holders should hold regular meetings with residents, businesses in the vicinity of the premises and also invite the ward councillors to these meetings.

 

The protection of children from harm

This objective relates to the protection of children from moral, psychological and physical harm. This includes protecting them from early exposure to:

  • strong language,
  • sexual expletives,
  • adult entertainment,
  • drinking alcohol,
  • drug-taking,
  • gambling,
  • violence.

Objections and complaints from interested parties

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport recommends that the council, as the licensing authority, develops family-friendly environments that should not be frustrated by overly-restrictive conditions relating to children.

Nevertheless, the council also has a responsibility to protect children.

If you are considering objecting, reviewing a licence or making a complaint you must provide evidence that you have seen actual or potential harm for children at first-hand. Please make sure that you have:

  • reported the incident to the relevant authorities in the first instance, for example, the sale of age-restricted products (this includes sales of alcohol and tobacco to children or young people who are under-age);
  • details of the children affected.

Licence holders or applicants applying for a licence or certificate

Licence holders

may need to restrict access to the premises to exclude children to protect them from harm which will arise if:

  • they provide adult entertainment;
  • they have been convicted of serving alcohol to minors or have a reputation for allowing underage drinking;
  • they have known association with drug-taking or dealing;
  • they have a strong element of gambling on the premises;
  • the primary use of the premises is exclusively providing alcohol.

They will need to consider the following measures:

Admission of children

There may need to be:

  • a restriction of where and if children are allowed in the premises;
  • a time restriction allowing children in the premises;
  • a notice explaining to customers when and where children are allowed or not.

Proof of age

Staff must be trained in checking customers' ages by only accepting the following identification:

  • passport;
  • driving licence;
  • Citizencard;

Licence holders can also run a Challenge 21 scheme.

Refusal book

Licence holders should keep a refusal book on the premises where staff can record details of everyone who has been refused alcohol. This is similar to an incident book.

Entertainment

  • Where entertainment of an adult or sexual nature is provided, children under the age of 18 years are not allowed into the premises. Provisions must be put into place as to how staff will prevent children from entering the premises. This may include covering and blocking windows.
  • During events specifically for people under the age of 18 years, adult staff must be employed to ensure their safety.

If you wish to make a representation or complaint, you should keep records such as the date and time and a brief description of all incidents at the premises, so that enforcement agencies can investigate. The council may ask for formal statements to be taken so that it can take the matter further with the premises licence holders to rectify the problems.

All complaints and representations will need to be in writing to the Licensing Unit. Should you wish to discuss your concerns, please contact the Licensing Enforcement Team.

Please note

The information above is not legal advice. Legislation and procedures may change over time and the advice given is based on the information available at present. It is not necessarily comprehensive and will be subject to revision in the event of further government guidance and regulations. This advice is not intended to be a definitive guide to or substitute for the relevant law.

The council is happy to provide information but cannot give advice on individual applications. Please seek legal and professional advice.

For more information contact Licensing Unit by telephone: Licensing Services - 01634 337107 or 337108 / Enforcement - 01634 337112 or 337106 or by email: licensing@medway.gov.uk

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR