Published: 27 November 2014
Q: Can we serve or sell alcohol to a police officer in uniform in a shop or licensed premises?
A: It was historically against the law to do so, but the relevant offence was removed by the Licensing Act 2003. As a result the responsibility for ensuring that the purchase is appropriate falls on the officer, not the licensee. The Home Office Guidance on ‘Police Officer misconduct, unsatisfactory performance and attendance management procedures’ states: ‘Police officers do not purchase or consume alcohol when on duty, unless specifically authorised to do so or it becomes necessary for the proper discharge of a particular police duty.’ The officer would need to be clear that their actions were appropriate in the circumstances and that they had the necessary authorisation or duty requirement before making such a purchase. However, they are now accountable to their line management and police internal discipline processes for their actions, rather than licensing law.
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