Should there be tighter controls on customers leaving licensed premises in South Ribble?

South Ribble's licensing policy is set to be revised
South Ribble's licensing policy is set to be revised
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Businesses applying for a licence to sell alcohol in South Ribble could soon have to show that they have measures in place to prevent their customers causing a nuisance as they leave their premises.

The strengthened requirement – which also covers licences for the late-night sale of hot food and some entertainment venues – is part of a revised South Ribble Borough Council policy which will go out for public consultation next week.

If the document is eventually approved by councillors, applicants for a licence would have to demonstrate that their staff were equipped to deal with any potential problems.

“Careful consideration will be given to the dispersal arrangements from premises including the impact of customers waiting around for transport such as taxis or buses or returning to private cars parked in the immediate vicinity,” the draft licensing statement says.

“Any foreseeable nuisance in respect of the dispersal of patrons should be mitigated by an adequate and appropriate policy which is implemented and understood by all management and staff at the premises,” it adds.

The proposed new licensing rules also reflect the introduction by the government of new public space protection orders (PSPOs) since South Ribble last updated its policy.

They are listed as one of nine methods of dealing with public nuisance caused by the minority of people who, having left a licensed premises, go on to “behave badly and occasionally unlawfully” elsewhere.

PSPOs can only be issued after consultation with the police, but can be used to “restrict the drinking of alcohol in a public space where this has or is likely to have a detrimental effect on the quality of life on those in the locality, be persistent or continuing in nature, and unreasonable”.

The rest of the proposed policy – which has to be updated at least every five years – remains largely unchanged. It covers public safety, the prevention of crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm.

The consultation – which seeks the views of residents and businesses, as well as the police and fire services – opens within the next week and will run for six weeks. A meeting of the full council will then vote on whether to adopt it.