Telephone: 020 7601 2222 PO Box 36451 London EC2M 4WN
Sign up to one of our email and text alert
services provided by Vocal and get community and business related
updates from us.
The police have extensive powers in order to visit licensed
premises and have a number of different powers they can use to
close premises in order to reduce crime and disorder in and around
licensed and unlicensed premises.
“A constable can enter any premises that he believes are being,
or are about to be, used for a licensable activity (Section 179)
and any premises where he believes an offence under the act has
been, is being or is about to be committed. It is an offence
to obstruct a constable exercising these powers”
There are extensive powers available to police to close premises
amongst them are:
1. Closure of unlicensed activity (only alcohol) (any premises
that are being, or within the last 24 hours have been, used for the
unauthorised sale of alcohol for consumption on or in the vicinity
of the premises).
Exercisable by a constable or authorised officer of the local
authority (Section 19 CJPA).
2. Closure of specific premises where crime and disorder is
Exercisable by an officer of at least the rank of inspector
(Section 161 Licensing Act 2003).
3. Orders to close premises in an area experiencing
Application made to Magistrates Court by an officer of at least the
rank of superintendent (Section 160 Licensing Act 2003).
Closure of identified premises where crime and disorder
is imminent – applies to all premises licences (Section
161 Licensing Act 2003).
Section 160 and 161 of the Licensing Act 2003 (2003 Act) make
provisions to combat alcohol related disorder. The provision
responds to public fear of increasing alcohol-related violence in
pubs, clubs and bars. It is aimed at problems caused by the few
DPS's/managers who behave irresponsibly and fail to take sufficient
action to control drunkenness and disorderly behaviour or protect
their neighbours from excessive noise.
Once set in motion by the Police, it invokes a formal
magistrates hearing. This is regardless of any prior cancellation
by Police, Justices or natural expiry of the closure period, no
matter how short. At Police instigation, it can result in the
revocation of the licence for the premises concerned and subsequent
loss of livelihood and business to the area. All actions will be
based on evidence.
This power will be used where unanticipated events arise and
emergency action proves necessary. It is intended to put DPS's,
premises users (TEN's), licence holders and those having day to day
management of premises under pressure to maintain order and reduce
anti-social and violent behaviour and intended primarily as a
"A Senior Police Officer may make a Closure Order in relation to
any relevant licensed premises if he reasonably believes that:
(a) There is or is likely imminently to be disorder on or in the
vicinity of and related to the premises and the closure of the
premises is necessary in the interests of public safety.
(b) A public nuisance is being caused by noise coming from the
premises and the closure of the premises is necessary to prevent
A Closure Order made in these circumstances may only require the
premises to remain closed up to a maximum of 24 hours and can only
be made by an Officer not below the rank of Inspector (the
Specimen closure order