Closure of a licensed premises

All licensed premises in a particular area can be closed if there is a threat of disorder or if disorder actually takes place.

Closures such as these are usually because of an activity such as a planned march, protest or a demonstration in the vicinity of the licensed premises. A senior police officer, such as a Superintendant or of higher rank, can apply to the local Magistrates’ Court for a closure order for up to 24 hours.

A single licensed premises can be closed for up to 24 hours by a police Inspector if it is considered that disorder may take place or does take place. This type of closure order can also be used by the police to close a premises causing public nuisance by noise. Although, this is rarely done and any problems with noise are usually the province of the Environmental Health Department of the Local Authority. This closure order can be extended by periods of 24 hours if the disorder or nuisance is considered likely to continue.

It is an offence to keep licensed premises open when a closure order has been made. A fine of up to £20,000 and/or three months imprisonment can be given.

The offence may be committed by the designated premises supervisor, the holder of the premises licence and anyone working at the premises such as a manager who would have the power to close the premises. If the closure order is made under a temporary event notice then it is the premises user who commits the offence.

To extend a closure order then application must be made to the Magistrates’ Court in that area.

When a closure order has been made then a Review of the premises licence must take place.

Licensed premises can also be closed under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 (ASBA). When licensed premises are closed because of the ASBA legislation then a review of the premises licence does not necessarily take place.

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