Licencing and the Licencing Act 2003

All premises must have a licence in place if they:

  • sell alcohol on their premises
  • provide regulated entertainment
  • serve late night refreshments on commercial premises between 11pm and 5am

The laws regarding young people accessing these premises will differ depending on the type of business e.g., whether it is an ‘off Licence’, a pub/club, music event or restaurant however, licence holders should be aware that one of the key objectives of The Licensing Act 2003 is 'the Protection of Children from Harm'.

All staff, are responsible for the safety and welfare of young people on their premises and should also be trained to recognise children who may be vulnerable.

All owners/license holders and their staff whether paid or not, should have a basic awareness of child protection issues. This includes:

  • Being alert to the possibility of child abuse and neglect, i.e. the definition, prevalence, identifying features in a child or adult, legal parameters and social consequences;
  • Having enough knowledge to recognise an abusive or potentially abusive event or set of circumstances;
  • Licensing authorities must also consider the need to protect children from sexual exploitation when undertaking licensing functions;
  • Knowing who in the organisation to raise your concerns with;
  • Being competent in taking the appropriate immediate or emergency action, and;
  • Knowing how to make a referral to LA Children's Social Care and/or the Police.

Some things to look out for:

  • Does a young person look worried or scared?
  • Is the young person with someone older who may not be their relative?
  • Is an adult buying alcohol for a young person?
  • Does the young person look intoxicated and/or vulnerable.

You can contact the Police by ringing 101 or if it is an emergency call 999 

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