Police welcome new powers
The government is introducing changes to legislation under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 which would allow councils and police to control late night/early morning activity, and to charge licensed premises for the costs of policing their customers.
The new rules were considered by the WC Licensing Committee Friday 14th September, and will now go out to consultation.
Wiltshire Police wrote to the council to support the proposals, whilst accepting that the new rules are not finalised.
On the 'Early Morning Restriction Orders' (EMROs) and the 'Late Night Levy' Deputy Chief Constable Mike Veal says:
"I appreciate that we are still at an early stage in terms of detail and regulations provided by the Government, however these appear to be important changes which will potentially provide two new tools that could be available to licensing authorities and the police to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour linked to the night time economy in our local areas.
"The EMRO appears to provide the local community with a means of challenging and reducing the early hours opening of those premises where it can be evidenced that there are alcohol-related problems, such as noise and public disorder.
"The Late Night Levy appears to enable the council to charge more for late night licences, a part of which can be forwarded to police as a contribution towards the additional policing burden, rather than relying on the general taxpayers to bear the costs.
"I understand these to be localised powers that the licensing authority can choose whether or not to exercise. Based on the information we currently have available in respect of these provisions, Wiltshire Police strongly supports the implementation across the County of both measures and would urge the Licensing Authority to provide responsible authorities and the community with the most comprehensive suite of tools by which to tackle crime and disorder within the night time economy."