Hot Topic Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Closure Notices

a) A Police Officer of the rank of Inspector or above, or the Local Authority, can issue a Closure Notice if satisfied on reasonable grounds that:

• the use of a particular premises has resulted, or is likely to result in nuisance to members of the public; or

• there has been, or is likely to be, disorder near those premises associated with the use of those premises; 
and that the notice is necessary to prevent the nuisance or disorder from continuing, recurring or occurring.

b) The Closure Notice can last for a maximum duration of 48 hours, and can exclude all persons from the premises at all times, except for any exceptions stated in the notice, but the notice cannot prohibit access by people who habitually live on the premises nor the owner of the premises.

c) The Closure Notice has to identify the premises, explain the effect of the notice, the consequences of failing to comply with the notice, that an application will be made for a Closure Order, where and when the application would be heard and explain the effect of the Closure Order. 


d) The Closure Notice can only be issued if reasonable efforts have been made to inform people who live on the premises, or any other person who has control of, or responsibility for the premises, or who has an interest in them.  The procedure is therefore stringent for the Police or Local Authority to go through before issuing the notice.


e) The Police or the Local Authority can cancel a Closure Notice where it feels that the requirements for a Closure Notice specified above are no longer satisfied, upon which the Police or Local Authority must issue a Cancellation Notice (if it is cancelled completely), or a Variation Notice (if part of the premises is removed from the notice).

Closure Orders

a) Unless a Closure Notice has been cancelled, then the Police or Local Authority must apply to the Magistrate’s Court for a Closure Order, and the application must be heard not later than 48 hours after the service of the Closure Notice.


b) The Magistrates’ Court may make a Closure Order if it is satisfied:

• That a person has engaged, or is likely to engage in disorderly, offensive or criminal behaviour on the premises; or
• That the use of the premises has resulted, or is likely to result in serious nuisance to members of the public; or
• That there has been, or is likely to be disorder, near those premises, associated with the use of the premises;
and that the order is necessary to prevent the behaviour, nuisance or disorder from continuing, recurring or occurring.

c) The Closure Order can last for up to 3 months and, again, like a Closure Notice, can prohibit access by all persons at all times, other than in specified exceptions.

d) Alternatively a Magistrates’ Court can order that a Closure Notice continues in force for a further specified period of not more than 48 hours or, alternatively, can adjourn the hearing of an application for a Closure Order for up to 14 days to enable the occupier of the premises, persons with control or responsibility of the premises or any interest in the premises, to show why a Closure Order should not be made and, in the meantime, pending the adjourned hearing being heard, it may order the Closure Notice continues until the adjournment.

Action after a Closure Order

a) At any time before a Closure Order expires, an application can be made by the Police or Local Authority to extend the Closure Order if the criteria for a Closure Notice above continue to apply, when the person on whom the Closure Notice was served, or any other person appearing to have an interest in the premises, may be required to attend before the Court by way of a summons.  Upon any hearing of the Closure Order, it can be extended but the Closure Order cannot last for a total of more than 6 months.

b) At any time before the expiry of the Closure Order, an application can be made by the Police, Local Authority, the person on whom the Closure Notice was served, or anyone else with an interest in the premises to have the Closure Order discharged.  Upon hearing the application for the discharge, the Magistrates’ Court can discharge the order if satisfied that the order is no longer necessary to prevent the occurrence, recurrence or continuation of disorderly, offensive or criminal behaviour on the premises, serious nuisance to members of the public resulting from the use of the premises, or disorder near the premises associated with the use of the premises.

c) An appeal can be brought against the decision to make or extend the Closure Order by any person on whom the notice was served, anyone with an interest in the premises, the Police or the Local Authority by appealing to the Crown Court within 21 days from the date of the decision in the Magistrates’ Court.

d) A person who, without reasonable excuse, breaches a Closure Notice is liable to a fine, or imprisonment for up to 3 months or both, and any person who, without reasonable excuse, breaches a Closure Order is liable to a period of imprisonment not exceeding 51 weeks, or a fine, or both.

Compensation

a) Any person who claims to have incurred financial loss as a consequence of a Closure Notice or Closure Order may apply to the Magistrates’ Court for compensation, or to the Crown Court if it made the Closure Order on appeal.  Any application for compensation has to be made within 3 months of the date the Closure Order was cancelled, refused or it ceased to have effect (the 3 month period for refusal runs from the date the Magistrate’s Court refuse it, or the Crown Court refuse the application if appealed).

Review of a Premises Licence following a Closure Notice

a) Following the making of a Closure Order, either by the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court, the Licensing Authority must complete a review of the Premises Licence within 28 days of such order.
b) If premises are closed voluntarily without the need for a Closure Order, then a review will not necessarily follow.

Repealed Sections

a) Sections 161 to 166 of the Licensing Act 2003 have been repealed.
b) The provisions dealing with Closure Orders for identified premises are no longer applicable, albeit Closure Orders applying to premises in an area experiencing disorder are still relevant.

For firther information about please contact licensing partner Jonathan Smith on 0115 953 8500