Go to navigation

Licensing complaints

License a premises

How we deal with complaints

The Licensing Unit will only investigate complaints in relation to breaches of licensing conditions, operating outside authorised hours and unlicensed activity in commercial premises. 

Complaints can be made using our online form or in writing using the contact details section at the bottom of this page.

In the first instance, complainants will be encouraged to raise the complaint directly with the licensee or business concerned.

Once you have contacted the licensing enforcement team your complaint will be investigated. On completion of our investigation we will notify the complainant of the action taken.

Notifying the correct department/agency

Please make sure that you have notified the correct department or enforcement agency. You may find that you need to notify more than one area of the council or another enforcement agency.


If your complaint is in relation to nuisance:

The council has a duty to inspect its area to detect statutory nuisances and whether they are likely to recur. This usually involves an initial investigation following a complaint of statutory nuisance from a local resident.

Statutory nuisances are defined in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as something which seriously disturbs the comfort and enjoyment of a person's property so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance, including:

  • noise emitted from premises;
  • smoke emitted from premises;
  • fumes or gases emitted from premises (private dwellings only);
  • any dust, steam, smell or other effluvia arising on industrial, trade or business premises;
  • any accumulation or deposit;
  • any animal kept in such a place or manner that it causes a nuisance.

Once the council has received a complaint of alleged statutory nuisance, it will normally contact the person concerned informing them that a complaint has been received and that the council will investigate the matter. It will consider a number of factors including:

  • diary records submitted by the complainant;
  • location;
  • time;
  • frequency;
  • duration;
  • whether reasonable steps been taken to prevent the problem.

For more information about dealing with nuisances, please contact the council's Environmental Health Department.


If a crime is being committed, the police should always be contacted first. You should dial 999 when:

  • life is threatened;
  • people are injured;
  • a crime is in progress;
  • offenders are nearby.

You should only dial 999 when you need immediate help. If you use a mobile phone to dial 999, tell the operator at once where you are phoning from, so that your call can be dealt with by the local police.

You should call your local police station when:

  • there is no immediate danger to life,
  • the crime is not in progress and the offender is not nearby,
  • incidents are non-urgent, such as a stolen bicycle, a car that has been deliberately damaged, finding stolen property or a minor traffic accident.

To report a non-urgent incident in Medway (Rainham, Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester and Strood), phone 101. These calls are charged at local rate and are answered by the Kent Police Force Communications Centre in Maidstone. You will be diverted to the person best able to respond to your call.

It is important that telephone lines handling 999 calls are kept free for emergencies, such as when life is in danger or a crime is in progress. If you call 999 when the situation is not urgent, it could take longer for a person in a real emergency to get the help they need.

This could mean the difference between life and death. Only around 60 per cent of the 999 calls made each year are real emergencies needing an immediate response. If you call 999 and the situation is not urgent, your call will be directed to your local police station.

Anti-social behaviour

Report the following problems to the Community Team 

  • youth nuisance;
  • under-age drinking;
  • graffiti;
  • verbal abuse.

Report the following problems to the Environmental Enforcement Team

  • household rubbish put out too early for refuse collections;
  • fly-tipping and fly-posting;
  • litter;
  • trade waste;
  • illegal street trading;
  • cars for sale on the roadside;
  • cars being repaired on the roadside.

Report the following problems to Medway's Community Officers

  • abandoned vehicles;
  • potholes in the road;
  • trip hazards;
  • overhanging foliage;
  • damaged traffic signs;
  • poor street cleaning;
  • noise nuisance;
  • stray dogs;
  • dog fouling;