In an exclusive interview with the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, chief constable Adrian Lee said that there will be more enforcement activity but it is in a “very much transparent way”.
The In Focus: Alcohol Harm initiative, which is taking place from 16 to 22 September, will see more identification checks, test purchase operations and door staff checks.
It is launched to coincide with university freshers’ season, and police will also be providing information to new students on responsible drinking.
Lee told the PMA: “This is not about catching licensees out, this is about the on-going process of enforcement, working alongside lots of good practice with Best Bar None and Pubwatch.
“What we will be doing is policing licensing visits, test purchasing operations, we’ll have the street pastors out, the fire service is going to do some inspections, as are trading standards teams.
“So there might be more activity taking place but this is very much in a transparent way. This is nothing that the industry isn’t well prepared for. We know that the vast majority of licensees will be ready and will be able to demonstrate everything they’re doing in responsible sales of alcohol.”
He added: “For the vast majority of licensees, carry on the good work you’re doing and strengthen up the partnership. Things like quality of CCTV, quality of door staff, keep an eye on all those things to ensure that you’re doing all that you can. Make your business flourish by being the safe place to drink responsibly.”
In response to reports of some police forces “over-stepping the mark” wanting to be seen to be doing something during the week, Lee said that all officers should behave professionally.
“All I’m asking for police forces to do is carry on with their normal enforcement activity. All that activity is to be done in an entirely professional way,” said Lee.
“This is not about covert activity; this is about saying this is what we’re doing to ensure that the licence conditions are being applied appropriately.
“Having spoken to lots and lots of people in the industry, they’re supportive of that because what licensees want is a level playing field – the good licensees do not want to be in competition with those who flout the law.”