Agenda item

Licensing Activity Report 2019/20


David Moore (Licensing Sergeant) and Rachael Hind (Service Manager) presented the licensing activity report 2019/20.  The report had compiled to provide the Licensing Committee with an overview of the various aspects of the work undertaken by agencies involved in regulating the licensing regimes within the remit of this Committee.  The report also highlighted future work plans ad potential changes in legislation or guidance which would have an impact on the Committee. 


David Moore (Licensing Sergeant) highlighted the following key areas –



the excellent partnership working had been identified through the prestigious Purple Flag award for the city; this identified Plymouth as having a safe, vibrant and diverse evening and night time economy and was a great benefit to the city for marketing purposes; this was highlighted nationally when Plymouth Purple Flag application was awarded a national award for Best Wellbeing, whilst being runner-up for the Best Movement and the Best Diversity and Safety awards; to be shortlisted for so many awards as a new scheme was unprecedented;




one venue had been subject to a Licensing Sub Committee review at which it had its licence suspended for three months, after numerous incidents of disorder had been linked to the area due to an increase in street drinking; this venue had taken the decision not to sell alcohol in the future;




a venue which had been part of a multi-agency operation had been a large amount of suspect tobacco and alcohol products which had been seized; this venue had also been subject to a Licensing Sub Committee review at which it had its licence revoked;




a venue which had failed to adapt its management accordingly following a number of interventions, continued to have incidents occurring at the venue; the premises had been issued with a s.76 Policing, Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2014 notice which closed the premises for 24 hours (this was further extended to 48 hours); following the presentation of evidence to the Magistrates Court a s.80 Closure Order had been granted to close the premises for three months;




a number of evening and night time economy initiatives had been undertaken including working with Door Supervisor companies to tackle knife and further training had been delivered for the Ask for Angela campaign in conjunction with Best Bar None;




with the co-operation of a large number of venues in the city, a three month drink spiking trial was undertaken, whereby an estimated 300,000 people attended venues which had been equipped with drink testing kits; also police vehicles had been equipped with urine testing kits; any person who suspected that their drink had been spiked could alert a venue member of staff could have their drink tested, as well as an urine test; the results showed that over 96% of cases which could have been reported in a drink spiking crime report were negative; this significantly reduced the number of recorded crimes; the scheme would be rolled out across the whole force area and was being looked into by a number of other forces in the country; Plymouth had received both local and national positive media attention with the scheme being featured on Crimewatch which had shown the city to be an innovative and progressive city within the licensing community.


Rachael Hind (Service Manager) highlighted the following key points –



from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020 the licensing team had received 2400 licensing applications; during the same period 180 licensing inspections had been completed and 61 Licensing Act applications which required representations from Environmental Health and Trading Standards;




during 2019/20, 179 formal noise complaints were registered against licensed premises which was 61% higher than last year; the increase was partly due to a large number of complaints being received from one temporary event;




the out of hours noise service which was staffed on a voluntary basis, continued to operate between 8pm and 1am on Friday and Saturday nights to respond to noise complaints involving domestic and licensed premises; calls regarding licensed premises had dropped substantially in the last two years;




the licensing team had also carried out a joint test purchase operation with Trading Standards in February 2020; six retailers were visited and no one sold alcohol to the volunteer;




with the assistance of Public Health Analysis, a Gambling Local Area Profile had been published which was an assessment of the key characteristics of Plymouth in the context of gambling related harm; the information obtained for the assessment helped to provide a better understanding of the types of people that were at risk of being vulnerable to gambling related harm, where they were located and any current or emerging problems that may increase the risk this information would enable gambling operators to assess the local risks to the licensing objectives posed by the provision of gambling facilities at each of their premises and to have policies, procedures and control measures in place to mitigate risks;




two joint operations had taken place this year with the police and Environment Agency to check scrap metal collectors were compliant; from these operations one premises had applied and had been issued with a scrap metal dealers site licence and two individuals had been applied and issued with scrap metal dealers collectors licences;




an application for the grant of a premises licence received representations against the application and was heard by the Licensing Sub Committee; this was the first occasion a hearing under the Gambling Act 2005 was required since its introduction in 2006; the application was a Bingo Licence situated at premises that had previously been occupied as a betting shop;




work initiatives for 2020/21 included -





continued joint working to detect, deter and disrupt modern slavery and exploitation;






continued joint working with the police to reduce hate crime;






Undertake a programme of alcohol and gambling test purchasing  operations (Covid-19 permitted);






meet with Gambling Establishments to discuss setting up a Betwatch Scheme in Plymouth.


David Moore (Licensing Sergeant) took this opportunity to thank Plymouth City Council’s licensing team for its multi-agency working and the sterling service that Fred Prout had given to the city and Plymouth City Council.


Rachael Hind (Senior Manager) advised that Fred Prout had been the senior officer leading on licensing work and that he had left the authority at the end of November 2020.  Marie Price would now be undertaking this role.


The Chair took this opportunity, on behalf of the Committee to thank Fred Prout for his work and wished him well for his retirement.


The Committee noted the report.




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