Licensing concerns expressed at public meeting

July 2008

Live events

The impact of temporary alcohol licences (Temporary Event Notices) for one-off events on policing are to be debated at a public meeting in Lewes, Sussex. The Sussex Police Authority – the body that holds the police’s purse strings – is expected to agree to lobby the government to make improvements to the system by which small scale events for less than 500 people (including staff and performers) gain temporary licences. In a joint report Chief Constable Martin Richards and authority Chief Executive John Godfrey said the events that don’t need permission under the Licensing Act 2003 can cause policing problems and considerable use of resources. Only the police can object to the grant of the licence but they are only given 48 hours (not working hours) to comment on the plans which they say often falls over the weekend when licensing officers may be involved on operations and unable to assess the impact of each individual application. If the police do object then a hearing must be held at least 24 hours before the event unless agreement can be reached. The officers are recommending that the authority press the government to make improvements to the system to allow more time for the police to comment.

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