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Complain about a licensed premises

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Complain about a licensed premises

If you have a problem with a licenced premises

You should discuss the issues informally with the premises manager or licence holder first. They might not be aware of the problem and this will give them the opportunity to resolve the issues. If this does not lead to an improvement, then you should contact us.

How to complain

Call our licensing enforcement team on:

  • 020 7974 6767 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday
  • 020 7974 4444 at all other times

You can also search for the name of your licensing enforcement officer.

You will need to provide:

  • your contact details – so that we can update you and ask for more information
  • the premises name and address
  • as much information about the issues as possible

We will not share your details with the licensee without your consent. Your details may be shared with other responsible authorities such as the Police if they need the information to investigate the complaint.

What happens next

A licensing enforcement officer will investigate and respond to your complaint. We will work with all the responsible authorities such as police. This may involve:

  • asking responsible authorities to investigate further
  • referring your concern to the Licensing Tasking Group

We will then advise you on the best course of action to deal with your concern.

Report under-age alcohol sales

To report off-licences selling alcohol to underage drinkers, call:

  • our licensing enforcement team on 020 7974 6767, 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
  • 020 7974 4444 at all other times

What happens next

We will investigate the sale of alcohol from the off-licence to underage drinkers. We will regularly carry out test purchases at the off-licence to check against the Licensing Act 2003 and any licence conditions.

How we respond to licensing complaints

When responding to licensing complaints, we will:

  • work with partners, such as the police, to target premises where problems have occurred
  • ensure that enforcement is proportionate
  • educate and support licensees where necessary
  • take firm action against irresponsible licensees

Enforcement actions we take are:

  • advice
  • written warnings
  • cautions
  • prosecutions for licensing condition breaches and offences
  • prosecutions under the responsible authorities legislation

We can take no action if there is no need to. When deciding which action to take, we will consider:

  • the offence
  • the conduct of the licensee
  • the action required to fix the concern

What we licence

Under the Licensing Act 2003, we manage alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment licensing.

Some of the activities we licence are:

  • the sale by retail of alcohol
  • the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club
  • the provision of hot food or hot drink after 11pm
  • regulated entertainment - for example playing recorded or live music and performances of dance or plays

Some of the premises we licence are:

  • pubs, bars and restaurants
  • theatres and cinemas
  • nightclubs
  • members clubs
  • off licences
  • late night takeaways
  • hotels
  • open spaces, such as festivals and community events

Licensing enforcement

Our licensing enforcement team:

  • inspects premises
  • monitors areas where there are problems or have been problems before

Licensing objectives

Our licensing objectives are:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm

We promote these when taking enforcement action under the Licencing Act 2003.

Responsible authorities

Our licensing enforcement team work with responsible authorities to make sure the licensing objectives are promoted. The responsible authorities are:

  • the Metropolitan Police
  • the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA)
  • our Health and Safety Team
  • our Planning Team
  • our Trading Standards Team
  • our Noise Pollution Team
  • our Children’s, Schools and Families Team
  • any other Licensing Authority for the area

Each of these have enforcement responsibilities under their own legislation and may take additional action to that provided for under the Licensing Act 2003.

Licensing Tasking Group

The Tasking Group meets every two weeks to monitor licensing information and intelligence. The group has membership from the Police, Fire brigade and other council teams such as Community Safety.

The group’s job is to stop issues around alcohol related crime and disorder. This involves:

  • assessing crime statistics and licensing complaints
  • sharing intelligence
  • investigating complaints
  • visiting problem licensed premises
  • monitoring potential hotspot areas
  • discussing premises licenses in need of review

Once a month, the group visits licenced premises together to address licensing problems at the location.