ADZs slammed as 'too bureaucratic'

Related tags Alcohol disorder zones License Home office Jon collins

Trade leaders and a senior police officer have said they believe alcohol disorder zones (ADZs) will prove "too bureaucratic" to implement. The Home...

Trade leaders and a senior police officer have said they believe alcohol disorder zones (ADZs) will prove "too bureaucratic" to implement.

The Home Office has released a 12-week consultation on the controversial plans, which would allow councils to levy a charge on licensed premises to clear up problems of disorder.

The Home Office confirmed this week that ADZs can be implemented from 1 October - but only as a "last resort".

The consultation sets out the process that must be followed to implement an ADZ.

The charge can only be implemented if it can be proved that venues failed to introduce changes set out in an Action Plan.

There must be a 28-day consultation period in which operators can object.

As the MA revealed last year, the charge will not apply to venues that close before the time at which problems are deemed to begin.

This could mean exemptions for many off-licences, supermarkets and even some pubs.

Police Federation vice- chairman Alan Gordon told the Evening Standard: "If it is this bureaucratic and burdensome, police will never use these zones or attempt to use them."

Bar Entertainment & Dance Association senior consultant Jon Collins said: "We expect 99% of council won't be interested in zones."

But he warned: "There's always the prospect that a local authority will say it's the way forward. If they do that and raise money, other areas will look at it and think they should implement a zone."

British Beer & Pub Asso-ciation director of communications Mark Hastings said: "The police, local authorities and the industry were against this proposal from the outset.

"And the issue hasn't changed."

The consultation also says that operators can invoke human-rights legislation, which guarantees the right to peaceful enjoyment of property, to fight an ADZ.

However, Collins said he believed venues would probably not want to use this process.

'about 100' licences revoked

About 100 licences were revoked in the first year of the new licensing regime, licensing minister Shaun Woodward has announced.

In response to an MP's question, Woodward said this week: "We broadly estimate there were around 600 completed licence reviews in the first year of the new regime, which resulted in approximately 100 licences being revoked."

He added: "Sales, or attempted sales, to persons under 18 would have been a factor in a number of those cases."

Tougher sales penalties due

The Home Office has confirmed that the new tougher penalties for underage sales will come into force tomorrow (6 April).

Under the new powers, venues can be closed for up to three months - and licence holders can be fined £10,000 - if three underage sales occur within a three-month period.

A fresh round of sting operations is set to come into force in May and will last for three months.

Related topics Other operators

Property of the week


£ 60,000 - Leasehold

Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more