'Beastly' red tape licensing plan

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Crime

More relevant offences added could create more red tape
More relevant offences added could create more red tape
Necrophilia and bestiality are two of the more bizarre crimes named in a draft list of extra relevant offences by the DCMS.

Would-be hosts who've been amorous in graveyards or farmyards could come a cropper when applying for a personal licence under new Government plans.

Necrophilia and bestiality are two of the more bizarre crimes named in a draft list of extra relevant offences by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, which have come under criticism from the trade.

Police can object to licence applications from anyone with a relevant offence, making it very unlikely they'll secure one.

The plan is to double the number of pages of relevant offences from four to eight. The new offences vary from specific new sexual crimes to theft and firearm abuses and offences under the Mental Health Act. For most offences, conspiracy to commit the crime will be counted as a relevant offence.

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers spokeswoman Kate Nicholls said: "How can laws relating to those working in the mental health or care sector be relevant to running a pub?

"This seems a bizarre and unnecessary addition to red tape at this point in time. Worse, it suggests that those working in the industry are putative criminals and acts as a real disincentive for those wanting to make a career in the sector.

"It's a retrograde and regressive approach, which is entirely at odds with a modern, dynamic industry. The Government ought to be ashamed of itself."

Morning Advertiser legal editor Peter Coulson agreed: "I don't see any of these offences as relevant to the running of a pub. It's disproportionate."

The consultation, which ends on 12 March, says the offences proposed are "designed to enable greater scrutiny" of people with unspent convictions to uphold the licensing objectives.

Visit www.culture.gov.uk​ for more information.

TV 'conspiracy' added to draft list

Anyone convicted of "conspiring" to evade copyright on football or music broadcasts in pubs could find it harder to secure a new personal licence.

Fraudulent reception or transmission of copyrighted material — used for prosecuting illegal football screenings in pubs — remains a relevant offence. But conspiracy to commit the offence has been added to the draft list.

Conspiracy to broadcast performances without sufficient consent, which could include playing music without the relevant PPL and PRS licences, is also included.

Related topics: Licensing law

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more

Headlines