Police Powers to Close Licensed Premises

New Closure Notices and Closure Orders which can be issued by the Police or Local Authority

On 20th October 2014, provisions of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 became law, changing the powers available to the Police and Local Authorities to tackle anti-social behaviour. Of particular importance to licensed premises are the new Closure Notices and Closure Orders which can be issued by the Police or Local Authority, or ordered by the Court, restricting access to premises for up to 3 months or longer.

  • A Police Officer of a rank of Inspector or above, or a Local Authority can issue a Closure Notice;
  • They must have reasonable grounds that the use of a particular premises has resulted, or is likely to result in nuisance to members of the public, or that there has been, or is likely to be, disorder near the premises which is associated with the use of the premises;
  • They must also be satisfied that the Closure Notice is necessary to prevent nuisance or disorder from continuing, recurring or occurring;
  • The notice can prohibit access to all persons at all times, with stated exceptions (it cannot exclude people who habitually live on the premises or the owner);
  • Closure Notices can last for a maximum of 24 hours, but can be extended by up to a further 24 hours;
  • An application has to be made to the Magistrates’ Court for a Closure Order, and the Magistrates can issue a Closure Order for up to 3 months;
  • The Closure Order must be heard no later than 48 hours after the original service of the Closure Notice;
  • The Closure Order made by the Magistrates’ Court can, again, prohibit access by all persons at all times other than specified exemptions and those people who habitually live on the premises, or the owner of the premises;
  • The Police or Council can apply to the Magistrates to extend any Closure Order before it comes to an end, but a Closure Order cannot last in total for more than 6 months;
  • Anyone on whom the Closure Notice was served, or anyone with an interest in the premises, can apply to the Magistrates’ Court to apply to have a Closure Order discharged;
  • An appeal can be brought against the decision to make or extend a Closure Order by any person on whom the notice was served;
  • Any person who without a reasonable excuse breaches a Closure Notice, is liable to a fine or imprisonment for up to three months or both;
  • 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;
  • An application can be made by anyone who has incurred a financial loss as a consequence of a Closure Order to the Magistrate’s Court for compensation. This has to be done within three months of the date the Closure Order was cancelled, refused or ceased to have effect
  • Following the making of a Closure Order, the Licensing Authority must complete a review of the Premises Licence within 28 days of the Order