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  • Anti-Social Behaviour Act and Licensed Premises

    The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 sees new provisions come into force this month which could potentially affect Licensed Premises. Under the powers conveyed in the new legislation problem individuals and premises can be targeted. Further guidance can be found here but are summarised below with comment to follow:-

    Closure Notice

    The Provisions under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act enable police and local authorities to issue a Closure Notice if satisfied on reasonable grounds that the use of a particular premises has resulted in or is likely to result in nuisance to the public or disorder near the premises. The Notice requires the premises to close immediately and could prohibit access to the premises for 24 hours (not including owner or residents) which can be extended to 48 hours. There is a consultation requirement. The penalty for breach of this notice is 3 months imprisonment and/or unlimited fine.

    With every issue of a Closure Notice an application for a Closure Order must be made to the Magistrates Court, although the police or local authority can cancel the Notice if they deem there is no need for an Order. Consultation is required as part of the closure notice however the scope of this will depend largely on the situation and urgency.

    Temporary Order

    Courts can consider extending the closure notice if required and can be considered as an option at the hearing for the Closure Order. The court can extend the notice for a further 48 hours if satisfied it meets the criteria. A court may also order that a notice continue in force for a period of not more than 14 days in circumstances where the hearing may be adjourned. An adjournment may be granted for no more than 14 days to enable the owner or an interested party to show why an Order should not be made

    Closure Order

    After the issue of a Closure Notice if the police or local authority do not cancel then the Court can issue a Closure Order if they are satisfied:

    • that a person has engaged, or (if the order is not made) is likely to engage, in disorderly,

    offensive or criminal behaviour on the premises; or

    • that the use of the premises has resulted, or (if the order is not made) is likely to result,

    in serious nuisance to members of the public; or

    • that there has been, or (if the order is not made) is likely to be, disorder near those premises

    associated with the use of those premises, and that the order is necessary to prevent the

    behaviour, nuisance or disorder from continuing, recurring or occurring.

    A closure order can prohibit access to those who routinely live at a premises. The penalty for breaching an order is 6 months imprisonment and/ or unlimited fine. The decision for the Order can be appealed

    Community Trigger

    Provisions are also included which are designed to give victims and communities a say in the way in which anti-social behaviour is dealt with. This may result in local residents having the ability to force the police and licensing authorities into reviewing licenses under the Licensing Act 2003 - the threshold for the trigger will be locally defined but is not more than 3 complaints in previous six month period.

    Read more...

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