During this Alcohol Awareness week and with the Christmas and New Year period nearly upon us, it is important to keep in mind that The Licensing Act 2003 has four equally important licensing objectives and all licensed premises, such as pubs, nightclubs, supermarkets and late-night refreshment outlets, must comply will them.
The objectives are:
- Prevention of Crime and Disorder
- Public Safety
- Prevention of Public Nuisance
- Protection of Children from Harm
To enable a license holder to meet their obligations they must have robust management controls and effectively train all staff in how to comply with these objectives.
The prevention of crime and disorder includes staff not selling alcohol to drunk people, intoxicated customers or underage youngsters as well as being vigilant to illegal drug usage or drug dealing and potentially violent and anti-social behaviour both on and off the premises.
To ensure public safety, premises must guarantee that all parts of the premises and all fittings, such as door fastenings and notices, lighting, heating, electrical, air condition, etc, will always be in good order and in a safe condition. This would also include not taking drinks outside unless in plastic or toughened glass and providing drinking water in pubs and clubs.
The prevention of public nuisance is mainly about respecting the needs of any nearby residents and customers leaving the premises at the end of an evening quietly or not gathering around certain areas. Therefore, as a customer, you will be asked not to stand around talking loudly or shout in the street outside the premises to prevent nuisance and disturbance to nearby residents.
If you’re a young person, it is crucial to remember to take an acceptable ID. This is because Trading Standards Services across the region recommend that all licensed premises, including shops, restaurants and nightclubs operate a strict ‘No ID – No Sale’ policy especially a ‘Challenge 25’ scheme. This scheme gives staff selling alcohol additional support and encouragement to ask for ID from any youngster appearing to be under 25 years of age to prove that they are over 18. All staff, including door staff, are trained only to accept photographic driving licences, passports or PASS (Proof of Age Standards Scheme) cards as a means of ID.
Jay Capel, Trading Standards Lead Officer says “it is important that everyone, including staff and customers, on licensed premises, are safe. This is why every licensed premise must observe these 4 rules and failure to do so could result in a business losing their license to sell alcohol or hot food late at night and consequently their livelihood”.
An age-restricted sales policy may also be part of your licensing conditions. Trading Standards South West offers an online training resource on age-restricted sales for businesses called No Proof of Age – No Sale. To find out more about this, or to see if you are eligible for free training, please visit www.npoans.org.uk.