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Application for designated premises supervisor

Can I be a designated premises superviser at two premises?

Q:  I am a tenant and have just taken on my second premises.  I am already the Designated Premises Supervisor (“DPS”) of my first site and have applied to be DPS of my second which is only 3 miles away.  The police have indicated that they are not happy and are minded to object to my application in relation to the second site.  What should I do? 

A:  This is not straightforward.  The legal position is contained in S.19 of the Licensing Act 2003 where it stipulates in subsection (2) that “no supply of alcohol may be made under the Premises Licence ….. at a time when there is no DPS in respect of the Premises Licence or …… the DPS does not hold a Personal Licence.” 

This was, when this Act came in a particularly hot topic and certain Police Forces were terribly hot under the collar demanding to know where the DPS was and threatening to close the premises if he or she had the temerity to pop out to the cash and carry or let alone take a day off.  Happily things were resolved fairly swiftly with some sensible Government guidance.  Then there was a tendency for some area managers to be the DPS of multiple sites but this also has diminished in practice which must be sensible bearing in mind the area manager is at risk as an absentee in that he is responsible for the activities of the premises which he may visit once a fortnight. 

The facts of this case are different and I would seek to persuade the police to adopt a common sense approach.  If the premises are close by and are relatively problem free pubs (as opposed to high risk late night operations) and there is a Personal Licence Holder at the other premises who is present for much of the time as an effective general manager then I would suggest that the licensing objectives would be promoted by having a known and experienced DPS who is a tenant and therefore who has invested money and to whom the smooth running of the premises are important.  Better that than a nominee DPS who is not so well motivated.  

Legally, as a Personal Licence holder it will be difficult for the police to maintain an objection because S.37 (5) indicates that the police must be “satisfied that the exceptional circumstances of the case …. would lead to the undermining of the crime prevention objective” and such a notice must be given to the local authority.  I would therefore advise in these circumstances, you would be able to negotiate from a position of some strength. 

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