There were 723,800 personal licences in England and Wales as of 31 March 2018 – 35,600 more than the same period in 2017.
However, 26 personal licences were revoked during the same time-frame. A personal licence is valid for the lifetime of the holder unless surrendered, revoked or suspended.
Where a local authority becomes aware the licence holder has been convicted of a relevant offence, foreign offence or has been required to pay an immigration penalty, the authority holds discretionary powers to revoke a licence or suspend it for up to six months.
Birmingham continues to be the local authority with the highest number of personal licences at 10,695.
The findings, produced by statisticians working in the Home Office Analysis and Insight for Official Statistics, also discovered a minimal rise of 1% in premises licences approved.
There were 212,800 in England and Wales – a 1,100 rise when compared to the previous year, which is in line with the broadly increasing trend since 31 March 2008.
Westminster continues to be the licensing authority with the highest number of premises licences at 3,364.
The research also looked into cumulative impact areas (CIAs), which are identified by local authorities where there is evidence the number, type or density of licensed premises are giving rise to specific problems that could undermine the licensing objectives.
Examples of the objectives are the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance, and the protection of children from harm.
As of 31 March this year, there were 107 local authorities with a total of 222 CIAs in place and just under one third (65 or 29%) of them are in London.
Of the 1,107 decisions on applications for new premises licences in CIAs, 92% were granted and 8% refused (compared to 3% refused outside CIAs).
Meanwhile, eight local authorities implemented late-night levy (LNL) schemes and the total amount raised from them across seven authorities was about £1.7m in the year ending 31 March 2018. One local authority was unable to report the amount raised.
The research also discovered a 6% increase to 8,100 in 24-hour alcohol licences. As of 31 March this year, 9% of premises with 24-hour alcohol licences were in the ‘pubs, bars and nightclubs’ category.