Taking an objective view

At Complete Licensing, we’re asked all sorts of questions about licensing and the hospitality sector, and among the most frequent topics which comes up is that of licensing objectives.

The Licensing Act 2003 was designed to modernise and simplify regulations which had been in force, pretty much without change, since the First World War. That was when the Government took steps to control the amount people were drinking (and keep them fit for work) by introducing licensing hours.

Things moved on a little by the turn of the 21st Century and the new ct sought to reflect the times, while at the same time setting out procedure and objectives to be followed when granting applications – whether personal or for premises.

Applicants must meet all four requirements of the licensing objectives for applications to be granted by the licensing authority – the local authority’s licensing committee:

Prevention of crime and disorder

Understandably, this objective is concerned with the prevention of criminal activity on licensed premises. New applicants or licence holders need to be proactive in this area, implementing clear strategies for identifying and preventing criminal activity. Full risk assessments of premises must be carried out and extra measures introduced for events which may carry a higher risk of criminal activity.

Public safety

The safety of all those on a premises is paramount and includes risk areas such as fire, disability needs and food safety. Compliance with this area may seem obvious, but putting it into practice requires thoroughness, time and plenty of effort.

Prevention of public nuisance

This part of the objectives concerns factors such as light and noise pollution and offensive smells. Much of this is common sense – sound-proofing, closed doors, effective odour prevention – but it all needs detailing and checking.

Protection of children from harm

Whether it’s physical, psychological or moral, there is no scope in this area: age restrictions must be in place to protect children and limit exposure to alcohol, adult entertainment and violence.

Any failure to comply with the objectives is likely to meet with at the least a fine and could result in the suspension or removal of a licence. Meeting the objectives may seem straightforward, but given their importance, it’s worth getting expert advice, and Complete Licensing’s experts are all leaders in their particular fields. We’re always happy to answer questions and help put the ‘nuts and bolts’ in place to help you run a successful business.