The Abolishment of Personal Licences...?

Napthens - September 18th 2013

The Government has launched a consultation on whether or not personal licences should be abolished.

The consultation states that the current system of renewing personal licences every ten years is not “an effective or proportionate way to tackle crime and disorder” and that the Government is committed to removing it. It goes on to say that the whole system may be “poorly targeted and ineffective” and that a consultation is needed to examine the abolition of personal licences altogether.

The consultation explains that the Government wishes to balance the desire to cut costs for businesses against maintaining “appropriate safeguards against crime and disorder at licensed premises”. Currently, all sales of alcohol must be made or authorised by a personal licence holder. This helps to maintain appropriate safeguards by ensuring that those authorising sales of alcohol have been trained to manage the risks associated with the consumption of alcohol. 

In addition, a personal licence can be denied to, or forfeited from, those who have criminal convictions for certain offences. However, the consultation suggests that the current system is a blanket, untargeted measure and that to abolish it could save businesses up to £10 million per annum.

The consultation proposes enabling targeted alternatives to be introduced at a local level in the form of conditions which would be incorporated into premises licences. The consultation further suggests that the Government would:

  • Keep national benchmarks on training and criminal record checks
  • Require all alcohol sales to be made or authorised by the DPS instead of a personal licence holder
  • Allow police to object to an application to vary a DPS on the grounds of crime and disorder generally as opposed to just in “exceptional circumstances”
  • Allow licensing authorities to require a criminal records declaration with any new application to vary a DPS

The consultation will run until 7 November and can be viewed online.