News

Pubs hit with Christmas licensing laws warning

Thursday, 22 December 2016

PUBS across the district have been warned to abide by licensing regulations this Christmas and to prevent overcrowding - or face prosecution - with both the PSNI and local council this week warning that inspections will be conducted.

The local authority says officers will be conducting unannounced inspections to ensure compliance with laws governing the licensing trade.

It is encouraging businesses and traders across the district to put the health and safety of the public and customers to the fore over Christmas and the New Year.

The PSNI says it too will be clamping down on any breaches in licensing laws over the festive period.

Constable Paul Larkin, the PSNI's licensing officer for the area, said officers have already been in contact with local entertainment establishments to inform them that officers will be mounting extra spot checks.

"These will aim to give reassurance to staff and customers and to help prevent disorder," he said.

Head of Community and Wellbeing with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Seamus Donaghy added: "It is vitally important that businesses act responsibly, sell genuine alcohol and avoid overcrowding at their premises.

"The council is obviously very pleased that this is a busy time for local businesses but it is important that they do all they can to ensure compliance with the law and their licence.

"We will be carrying out visits to licensed premises to check for overcrowding and to check that the alcohol being served in licensed premises is genuine and has not been adulterated in any manner.

 

'Prosecution'

"It is essential that licensed holders do not exceed the maximum capacity of numbers of people stated in their licence. A breach of their statutory requirements could result in immediate enforcement and prosecution."

Mr Donaghy also urged premises owners to ensure their staff are fully briefed on their statutory requirements relating to their licence and the terms and conditions set out on the management rules specified in the entertainment licence.

He said that to ensure the health and safety of all customers at licensed premises, businesses must ensure emergency exits are unlocked and are kept free from obstruction and that the easy opening mechanism on emergency exit doors are in good working order.

 "It's also important to ensure there is an adequate number of certified door staff and security employed to manage, monitor and control the number of patrons and that all passageways and designated routes for means of escape are kept clear at all times.

"It is the responsibility of businesses to ensure that firefighting equipment, fire alarms and emergency lighting are working and inspections records up to date and that all alcohol is sourced from reputable suppliers.

 "We all have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of the public and the council is very proactive in working with local businesses to ensure compliance so that everyone can enjoy a safe and happy Christmas," he added.

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