The Minister of State for Crime Prevention (Jeremy Browne): A consultation on enabling targeted, local alternatives to personal licences to sell alcohol has been launched today.
The system of personal licences is intended to ensure that alcohol is sold responsibly. At present, all alcohol sales must be authorised by a personal licence holder. Personal licence holders must have completed training on the risks alcohol can present if handled irresponsibly. They must also notify licensing authorities if they commit any offence which suggests they may be unsuitable as a manager at licensed premises.
Extensive discussions with partners in the police, local government and the licensed trade during the recent Alcohol Strategy consultation suggested that this system may not always be the most targeted and proportionate way to ensure alcohol is sold responsibly. For example, all premises – from the riskiest to the quietest – must comply with the system regardless of whether it is locally appropriate or not. As a result, the consultation published today proposes enabling targeted, local alternatives to personal licences through locally applied conditions to premises licences. We have estimated that this proposal could save businesses, including small and medium enterprises, some £10 million a year if taken forward, while keeping a focus on measures to tackle crime and disorder at licensed premises.
This consultation is an opportunity for licensing authorities, the licensed trade, police officers and the general public to share their views on this proposal. In particular, the Government is seeking views on whether it would cut costs for businesses and maintain appropriate safeguards against crime and disorder at licensed premises.
A copy of this consultation will be placed in the House Library and it will also available on the Home Office website.