The Highland Licensing Board is consulting widely over a review of its policy governing door entry to night clubs (commonly called a curfew), which requires admission by midnight. The Board invites representations on whether the policy should continue and, if so, whether it should be extended throughout the Highlands.
The deadline for responses is 5 pm on Friday 14 September 2012. Evidence in support of responses is encouraged and should be sent to Alaisdair Mackenzie, Clerk to the Licensing Board, Tigh na Sgire, Park Lane, Portree, Isle of Skye IV51 9GP. E-mail: email@example.com. Telephone: 01478 613826
Representations are welcomed on any aspect but the Board asks that consideration be given to responses including answers to the following questions:
- Does the Policy promote any of the licensing objectives and, if so, in what way?
- Would removal of the Policy mean that the Board was failing to promote the licensing objectives and, if so, why?
- Are the reasons for introducing the policy still relevant and, if so, why?
- If the Policy is retained should it be extended throughout all or only certain parts of the Highlands and, if so, why?
Licensing Board Convener, Councillor Maxine Smith recalled that in 2003, Northern Constabulary approached the then Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Licensing Board with a proposal to introduce a door entry policy in Inverness city centre to separate the operation of night clubs (those premises with licensed hours after 1am until 3am) from public houses and restaurants. The proposal was to introduce a local licensing condition requiring night club patrons to be inside those premises by midnight after which time no further admittance would be given.
She said: “The idea of the policy was to provide a watershed in the city’s night time economy allowing the dispersal of patrons from public houses and restaurant venues closing at 1am before the exodus from the night clubs some 2 hours later. This allowed for less pressure on taxis and public transport and also lessened the burden on police resources dedicated to the city centre.
“The last time this was considered by the Highland Licensing Board on 12 January 2011 the position of Northern Constabulary was that the policy had allowed for more effective policing of Inverness city centre. Many licence holders were used to the arrangements and it was the collective view of the Inverness Pub Watch, which represented 32 licensed premises within the city centre, that the policy performed an important role in the community safety of the city centre and they wished it maintained.
“There were contrary views held by some operators who felt they were disadvantaged in that between 11pm and midnight they witnessed an exodus of customers heading for the night clubs. The matter was aired by the Board in 2010 and again last year.
“It is really important that we hear from as many interested parties as possible in reviewing the policy on door entry to night clubs. Evidence will be given greater weight if the response is detailed, setting out the pros and cons of the argument.”
Note: The Board is under a duty to promote the licensing objectives by:
(a) preventing crime and disorder;
(b) securing public safety;
(c) preventing public nuisance;
(d) protecting and improving public health, and
(e) protecting children from harm.