Monthly Archives: June 2017

East Lindsey District Council set to ban bottles being sold across the district.

At a recent review hearing under the Licensing Act 2003 held at the Council Offices of ELDC, 16 June 2017, in a matter relating to an assault on an individual where it is suspected a glass was used, the Chairman of the Licensing Act 2003 Committee, councillor Robert J. Palmer, who was the chair of the Licensing Sub Committee for the meeting imposed a condition, agreed by the sub committee, on the premises licence for the Marine Boathouse Skegness in that all drinks shall be served in plastic, paper or toughened glass, except for teas, coffees, or other similar drinks which can be served in porcelain, china or other similar materials, vessels, at any other time.

Councillor Palmer then went on to say;

‘The conditions that we’ve laid on reference glasses, or the drinking vessels, won’t just happen in your establishment, I shall be talking to Mr Twiddy, and the police, and we will try and make that an all through Skegness, and through the area, so that nobody has dangerous glasses. The incident could have happen at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, it could have happened any time, so in future I am going to try and get all premises, will have this type of glass.’

When asked by Kurnia Licensing Consultants if this meant mean that no bottles, unless they are made from toughened glass or plastic may be served either over the bar or at a table (i.e a bottle of wine cannot be served to a table in a restaurant), principal licencing officer, of the ELDC licensing section confirmed, in an email to Kurnia Licensing Consultants, that the intention was ‘no glass bottles may be served either over the bar or at a table’.

This clearly could have huge consequences on many businesses and not limited to bars and clubs but also restaurants.

Michael Kheng of Kurnia Licensing Consultants said;

‘We cannot see why ELDC would not want bottles of wine to be sold at tables in restaurants or children to have pop and the like served in a bottle with a stray. We feel the council have over reacted in this matter and to say that the council will attempt to make this a standard policy not only across Skegness but though out the area is crazy. It could have huge implications on many responsible businesses as well as send out a message to thousands of visitors to Skegness and the district that East Lindsey is a dangerous place to visit. We shall be fighting on behalf of our clients and the trade to ensure this does not become the standard.’

‘What was said is contrary to the councils Statement of Licensing Policy that states at 5.5, regarding the use of toughened or plastic drinking glasses, that states, the Licensing Authority believes that a risk-based, rather than blanket, approach to requiring licensed premises to use safer alternatives is the best way to tackle the problem of glass-related injuries.’

‘It also goes against the Home Office S182 Guidance that clearly states at 10.8;

The licensing authority may not impose any conditions unless its discretion has been exercised following receipt of relevant representations and it is satisfied as a result of a hearing (unless all parties agree a hearing is not necessary) that it is appropriate to impose conditions to promote one or more of the four licensing objectives. In order to promote the crime prevention licensing objective conditions may be included that are aimed at preventing illegal working in licensed premises. This provision also applies to minor variations.’

‘Restaurants must be able to sell bottles of wine to the table and children able to have bottle of pop as well as customers able to have beer by the bottle. At the end of the day the incident involved a glass and not a bottle so we see no reason why the council are seeking a blanket ban on bottles. After 12 years of the Licensing Act 2003 being in place we are still seeing conditions are wrong. What authorities should be doing is looking at the consequences of a condition. In this case by stating all drinks shall be served in plastic, paper or toughened glass, expect for tea and coffee means nothing else can be used. The old fashioned pewter or steel tankard for example cannot be used as it is not paper, plastic or toughened glass. We have always encouraged and suggested what should not be used rather than what should be used with these types of conditions.’

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A Saturday Evening on Shift with Lincolnshire Police

After 30 years in the pub & club trade and 12 years as a specialist licensing consultant, I was interested to spend an evening with Lincolnshire Police to see and experience some of the effects of alcohol in the evening economy. I shared a night shift on a Saturday night in June with an officer on patrol in the city of Lincoln as an observer.

My brief was to arrive at the West Parade Police Station at 2130hrs to be introduced to PC Joe Clear who I joined for the evening for his shift.

The first job was certainly unexpected. A visit to Lincoln County Hospital to observe the results of a previous incident with a deceased person. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end! Almost two hours later, we left the hospital. I have always had a lot of respect for hospital staff and left with more than ever for the hard working, dedicated nurses and their colleagues who do a great job and such long shifts.
After checking a property, following a call complaining about a disturbance, we went to the custody suite to look at how detained people are processed and I was invited to look at the very basic cells. Not really a place you would want to spend the night.

Now, in the early hours of the morning we had a well earned coffee break, surprisingly the only coffee break of the evening! I thought that officers might have had more coffee breaks during their long and demanding shifts. We did not have time to relax and enjoy it however as a call soon came in to attend a disturbance at a previously known address. 

Within minutes we arrived at the address and all appeared to be quiet. Soon after, two more police cars arrived and a total of four officers were on then on the scene. All seemed to be in order and the feeling was that it was a malicious call. Two hours of officer’s time was wasted on a busy Saturday evening. This would be one of a few similar calls we dealt with during the evening. It made me realise how much valuable police time is probably, unnecessarily wasted.

Some interesting observations; Whilst driving around looking for a suspect it was very hard looking down the side streets without the street lights being switched on. I was impressed with how the taxi companies and taxi marshalls appeared to be dealing with moving the public out of the city centre. Street Pastors were helping out many vulnerable people.

On the subject of vulnerable people, I was shocked with the number of females I saw walking around the city barefoot! I suspect that their high heels had got too much for them and it was easier for them to take their shoes off! They abviously were not thinking about any broken glass that might be on the pavement let alone whatever else may be deposited there.

The recently introduced electronic notebooks appear to be a good tool with officers only having to make notes once, then the file is updated. A great deal of time must have been wasted in the past handwriting notes and then typing them up.

The conduct, attitude and professionalism of Joe, and his colleagues I met on the night was exceptional. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the evening but finished the shift with huge respect for the police on the ground after seeing what they have to deal with. Joe told me that the shift was a quiet one. I thought it was fairly manic so cannot imagine what a busy night would be like.
Although the police have response times to meet, it is clear that no matter how many officers there may be on duty, if there’s an incident occurring, or someone has made a malicious call, these times are going to be hard to meet.

We spent most of the evening until 0400hrs dashing from one side of the city to the other dealing with various incidents and my six and a half hours passed in a flash. A pleasure to have been able to join the police for the evening and have a first hand experience of what officers have to deal with.