New bill could lead to more licences being revoked

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

Bill aims to clear up confusion around interim steps at a review hearing
Bill aims to clear up confusion around interim steps at a review hearing

Related tags License Court

A new bill that could lead to more personal licences being suspended and revoked has been introduced in parliament.

The Policing & Crime Bill, which has been put forward by Home Secretary Theresa May, will allow licensing authorities to keep interim steps in place between a review hearing and the outcome of an appeal, and give them the power to revoke a personal licence when someone is convicted of a relevant offence.

Currently only the courts have the power to suspend or revoke personal licences when a licensee has been convicted of an offence, something Poppleston Allen partner Andy Grimsey said was a source of “frustration” for licensing authorities.

Grimsey said that the bill should clear up confusion around interim steps after a review hearing and make the process fairer on everyone. “If a licensee appealed the final decision at the full review to the Magistrates Court it was unclear whether the original interim steps continued during that appeal or fell away. The bill makes it clear that the licensing authority at a review has the explicit power to continue the interim steps, modify them or indeed withdraw them,” he said. “It allows the licensing committee at the full review hearing, in possession of all the facts, to decide, rather than continue having the often knee-jerk reaction made at the interim steps stage.”

The bill also adds some new offences to the list of those that could prevent someone being able to apply for a personal licence and changes the definition of alcohol to include vaporised or powered alcohol.

Speaking at last month’s PMA500 event in Nottingham, CPL Training Group director Paul Chase warned operators that police were “making use of Draconian new powers” that could result in pubs being closed immediately.

Related topics Legislation

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