BBPA bid to ease pub closure 'abuse'

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Abuse Bbpa

Police: alleged abuse of power
Police: alleged abuse of power
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) is to meet authorities in Yorkshire in a bid to ease tensions between police and licensees over an alleged "abuse" of power relating to closure orders.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) is to meet authorities in Yorkshire in a bid to ease tensions between police and licensees over an alleged "abuse" of power relating to closure orders.

The Publican's Morning Advertiser has recently been told of six incidents​ where officers from West Yorkshire police have told licensees to stop serving alcohol on busy Saturday nights or face being arrested. That has been labelled an "abuse" of power by PMA legal editor Peter Coulson.

It is thought the push is part of a Home Office initiative, the Alcohol Support Visits programme, where civil servants hold training sessions with police and licensing authorities on licensing law and then accompany the police on a practical demonstration by visiting licensed venues.

"We seem to be having problems across the country with Section 19 closure notices and, increasingly, it is leading to unnecessary bad feeling between the police and local trade," said BBPA northern secretary Lee Le Clercq.

"Where licensees are flouting the law, the authorities are right to act, of course,

but if well-managed prem-ises are being hassled by what appears to be ill-advised or inappropriate police action then we need to find a remedy.

"I have spoken to officers at the East Riding licensing authority who are equally concerned about this growing malaise. They have agreed to set up an early meeting involving the authority, senior police officers and the regional BBPA in an attempt to find a solution to these problems."

Arthur Wilder of After Midnight Club and Bar Oasis in Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire, claimed he is being unfairly treated by the local police, after 20 police raided a student night at one of the clubs. He said: "I think the meeting is a good thing and I'd welcome anything that would help this situation.

"I feel the police have been unfairly targeting me but I'm still not going to be intimidated. I'm just annoyed they are abusing their power."

Michael Kheng, director of consultancy and pub chain Kurnia Group, is representing the two licensees involved in West Yorkshire.

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