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Entertainment Licensing Enforcement

Entertainment Licensing has a team of liaison and enforcement officers who work with businesses to ensure compliance with the Licensing Act 2003, Gambling Act 2005 and other licensing legislation.

Enforcement principles

Our officers work closely with other authorities to promote licensing objectives by targeting known problem premises whilst following government guidance around better regulation.

In carrying out their enforcement duties with regards to the inspection of premises and the powers to institute criminal proceedings officers will endeavour to be:

  • Proportionate:  regulators should only intervene when necessary, remedies should be appropriate to the risk posed and cost identifies and minimised;
  • Accountable:  regulators must be able to justify decisions and be subject to public scrutiny;
  • Consistent:  rules and standards must be joined up and implemented fairly;
  • Transparent: regulators should be open and keep regulations simple and user friendly; and
  • Targeted:  regulation should be focussed on the problem and minimise side effects.

We endeavour to avoid duplication with other regulatory regimes so far as possible.  We have adopted a risk-based inspection programme in line with government recommendations around better regulation and the principles of the Hampton Review.

Licensing Act 2003

The Licensing Act contains stringent safeguards to ensure that the council and responsible authorities are able to deal with premises that wilfully and persistently undermine the licensing objectives.  The council and responsible authorities are committed to encouraging a thriving daytime and evening licensed economy but will not tolerate those premises whose activities infringe upon the quality of life for local residents and businesses.

The council has established a multi agency enforcement protocol which sets out the framework for the risk based enforcement of the Licensing Act 2003 following the principles of better regulation advocated by the Better Regulation Executive.  The protocol allows for carrying out of inspections with a number of partner agencies, including the police, the fire authority, Trading Standards and between appropriate council departments.

The enforcement protocol's mission statement is to protect the public, interested parties and the environment from harm caused as a result of activities made licensable by virtue of the Licensing Act 2003.  In accordance with the enforcement protocol, the council adopts a multi-agency approach to the prosecution of offences under the Licensing Act.

Consideration will be given to the appropriate powers that should be used to address a problem where other agencies such as the police, fire authority, health and environmental protection and trading standards also have their own powers.

The council has adopted the principles of the enforcement concordat.

Formal enforcement will be a last resort and proportionate to the degree of risk.  To this end the key principles of consistency, transparency and proportionality will be maintained.

The council has a zero tolerance to antisocial behaviour and environmental crime.

Gambling Act 2005

The main enforcement and compliance role for the council in terms of the Gambling Act 2005 is to ensure compliance with the premises licence conditions and other permission which it authorises.  The Gambling Commission is the enforcement body for operators and personal licence holders.

Concerns about the manufacture, supply or repair of gaming machines will not be dealt with by the council but will be notified to the Gambling Commission.  In circumstances where the council believes a premises requires a premises licence for gambling activities and no such licence is in force, the council will alert the Gambling Commission.

The council will also keep itself informed of developments as regards the work of the Better Regulation Executive in its consideration of the regulatory functions of local authorities.

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