Tougher penalties for licensees who run violent and unruly pubs will not be fully in place until the end of the year, the Home Office has revealed.
The Criminal Justice and Police Act, passed by Parliament in May, is now in place, but specific provisions relating to the pub trade still need to be officially introduced, a spokesman said.
This gives licensees about six months to comply with the legislation, before new Home Secretary David Blunkett (pictured) fully enforces it as part of a bid to try and curb violent and unruly behaviour in pubs. It will mean tougher penalties for any publicans or their staff who serve underage or drunk customers.
But there was some good news for the trade. Before the bill was passed, industry leaders won their battle to amend wording relating to police powers to close problem pubs on the spot.
Original proposals said a pub could be closed if there was disorder "in the vicinity of the outlet", but the amended version stated that the incident had to be related to the pub in question. See Justce Bill wording victory (June 1, 2001)for full details.
What will the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001mean for you and your pub? Our essential guide tells you all you need to know.