In April 2012, local health bodies became ‘responsible authorities’ under the Licensing Act 2003.
For the first time local health bodies were able to instigate a review of an alcohol license and input into decisions on applications of new licenses, so that health harms, including those seen in A&E departments, could be a key factor in deciding whether a new license is granted.
At present the four licensing objectives are:
- the prevention of crime and disorder
- public safety
- the prevention of public nuisance
- the protection of children from harm
There is not yet a specific health objective.
Public Health provides evidence for licence reviews to help local district and borough councils to target hotspots and poorly managed licensed premises. Public Health also shares evidence from health profiles, local alcohol profiles, alcohol-related hospital admissions and assaults associated with alcohol, liver disease mortality and local information from areas of high vulnerability, for example homeless hostels, in order to inform interventions.
This process has contributed to:
- the temporary closure of a nightclub and adding clauses to its license
- revoking the licences of several off licence premises
- supplying evidence to three licence reviews in Watford
- reviewing the license of a premises which has subsequently closed down
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