Fight against pub music red-tape

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Metropolitan police service

Red-tape could force live music out of pubs (photo: Ymmit Photography)
Red-tape could force live music out of pubs (photo: Ymmit Photography)
Campaigners in London are fighting police calls for licensees to provide detailed information every time a live music event is staged.

Campaigners in London are fighting police calls for licensees to provide detailed information every time a live music event or other entertainment is staged.

The Metropolitan Police is asking hosts to complete forms for every promoted event, including names, ages and contact details of every promoter or performer.

Other details such as the music style and "target audience" are required. Licensees are also expected to complete an after-promotion "debrief".

An early version of a document, known as Form 696, even asked for the expected ethnic background of punters — this was dropped over fears it could be seen as racial discrimination.

Police are working with 21 out of 32 London boroughs to use the forms, said deputy chief superintendent Richard Martin of the Met's Clubs & Vice Unit.

He said they are voluntary but if a licence comes up for review, police ask for completion of them to be licence conditions.

The forms have been slated as a huge burden for licensees. More than 10,000 people have signed a petition on the Prime Minister's website​ opposing them.

Campaign group UK Music, headed by singer Feargal Sharkey, fears the forms could deter venues from hosting live music.

"The bureaucracy of it is pretty mad," said a spokesman. "We've written to the Information Commissioners' office and Met Police [about the forms] as well. We have concerns about what is happening to the data."

British Beer & Pub Association spokesman Neil Williams said: "This looks like yet another attempt to drown pubs in red tape.

"This is bad news for pubs, musicians and all those who enjoy live music."

But Martin defended the forms. "Once we get the information we will research whether there could be any trouble before the event. It's about doing the best we can to minimise risk."

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