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Threat of a Section 19 Closure Notice

What is a Section 19 Closure Notice?

Q: One of my bar staff told me that the Police came in recently and said that because my CCTV was not working correctly that they will issue me with a “Section 19” if necessary to close me down. I have since spoken with the Police and sorted out my CCTV but I am interested to know what a “Section 19” is, and whether indeed they could have closed me down.

A: The Police were probably referring to Section 19 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, which allows them to issue so called “Closure Notices” in the event of the unauthorised sale of alcohol, which includes selling alcohol in breach of a licence condition/s. As we have mentioned before in this column, a Section 19 Closure Notice cannot close you down, but if the breach of condition is not rectified within 7 days the Police could apply for a Closure Order which could close you down. Either way, you could be at risk of prosecution under the Licensing Act 2003 for not complying with the conditions on your licence.

I am glad you have resolved the CCTV issue, but it may be worth checking all of your other conditions to ensure you are complying with them to the letter, in order to avoid the phrase “Section 19” being used in respect of another condition in the future.

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