Drug guide to target pushers

Related tags License

Government issues guidelines for late-licensed premises, aimed at reducing drug-related casualties.By David Clifton, one fo thePublican.com's legal...

Government issues guidelines for late-licensed premises, aimed at reducing drug-related casualties.

By David Clifton, one fo thePublican.com's legal team of experts from London solicitors Joelson Wilson.

It has long been realised by drug pushers that pubs in which large numbers of young people congregate can be ideal locations for plying their unlawful trade.

A licensee who finds that his or her pub has a drug-related problem has good reason to fear loss of licence at the very least.

I have written in previous articles on this site about the provisions of:

  • the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which imposes heavy penalties on those who permit drug-related activities to take place on their premises, and
  • the Public Entertainments Licences (Drug Misuse) Act 1997, which introduced a new power of revocation of public entertainment licences where there is a serious problem of supply or use of illegal drugs on the premises or in the vicinity.

The government has now issued fresh guidance for late-licensed premises, designed to cut down the number of drug-related casualties. It is called the Safer Clubbing Guide and follows a previous code of practice called Dance Till Dawn Safely and sets out to ensure that licensees adopt best health and safety practice.

It is anticipated that local authorities will adopt the guidance as part of their policy requirements for public entertainment licences and, in due course, no doubt for liquor licensing too - unless Stuart Neame's call to arms against the licensing reform proposals gathers momentum.

Much of the guidance will come as no surprise to responsible operators who have already implemented an effective drugs policy at their venues, containing as it does recommendations that premises:

  • prevent overcrowding
  • comply with health and safety regulations
  • provide effective ventilation and air conditioning to prevent overheating
  • provide sufficient supplies of drinking water
  • use properly approved doorstaff to carry out drugs searches
  • regularly patrol all areas of venues
  • provide first aid training for staff.

However, the guidance also recommends that premises should provide separate treatment rooms for customers who are suffering from the effects of drugs use and should use metal detectors to prevent weapons being brought into venues.

Related topics Legislation

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