Government urged police to use full powers of Licensing Act

06 June 2008 by
Government urged police to use full powers of Licensing Act

The Government has told the police to use the full powers of the Licensing Act to crack down on irresponsible drinking.

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker and Licensing Minister Gerry Sutcliffe met with police and local authorities to discuss how to deal with problem premises yesterday, as controversial Alcohol Disorder Zone (ADZ) legislation came into force.

ADZ's will now be used as a measure of last resort to tackle high levels of alcohol related violence and disorder in city and town centres.

Businesses placed in an ADZ will need to tackle issues such as noise, disruption and the rowdy behaviour of patrons, or face paying a levy to the police to cover their additional costs.

Pubs and bars will also now face a red and yellow card system.

A yellow card will be given for excessive noise levels, incidences of crime or selling alcohol to minors. A red card, for a second offence, could see the premises' licence revoked following a review.

Sutcliffe said: "Most licensees take their responsibilities seriously, but we need to be sure that those who don't are quickly dealt with. There is a range of powers available that are being used effectively in many areas, but there is not a consistent picture across the country."

The minister also suggested that regional workshops between local enforcement officers and licensing practitioners be held across England and Wales in order to use "the considerable powers granted by the Act to tackle problems".

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By Christopher Walton

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