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Licence Review Request

Can the police ask for a review following one incident at my premises?

Q: I run a busy town centre nightclub which trades until 03:00am on a Friday and Saturday night.

I manage the premises myself and have always enjoyed a positive relationship with the Police and the Licensing Authority. Following a recent unfortunate incident at the premises I was invited to attend a meeting with the Police and Licensing Authority to discuss concerns over the running of the business. It seems that a Police Officer was injured when the Police responded to deal with the incident which occurred.

The business has won a local Night-time Economy Award in each of the last three years. Nonetheless, the Police have now asked for a Review of the licence. Can they do this on the basis of one incident when we are clearly one of the best operators in the area?

A: Unfortunately it is possible for the Police or indeed any responsible authority or local resident to ask for a review of your premises licence at any time. It is relatively unusual for a review to be requested following a single incident at the premises. The Police will sometimes use the summary review procedure where there has been a very serious incident but this is normally in cases involving a stabbing or shooting or a very serious incident of disorder. A normal review is usually reserved for situations where there has been a run of incidents at the premises and where management have failed to adequately respond to Police advice. There is however no firm rule in this regard.

The fact that you have repeatedly won awards is helpful in demonstrating your general commitment to the promotion of the licensing objectives but does not necessarily protect you against this sort of action. It would be advisable to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity as the Licensing Committee has significant powers on hearing a review of the licence, including revocation of the licence itself.

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