|Place:||Cross Room, Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland PR25 1DH|
|Present:||Councillors Mrs A A Ball, Mr J Rainsbury, Mr C W Tomlinson|
|In attendance:||Kay Lovelady (Principal Solicitor), Niky Barrett (Licensing Enforcement Officer), Andy Smith (Licensing Officer) and Dave Lee (Democratic Services Officer)|
Other Members: Councillors Mrs Mort, Nelson and P J Smith
Appointment of Chairman
RESOLVED (UNANIMOUS): that Councillor?Rainsbury be appointed chairman for the meeting.
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies reported.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest declared.
Review of Premises Licence: Kwik Stop News and Booze, Lostock Hall
The Licensing Panel considered an application by Lancashire Constabulary for a review of a premises licence under Section 51 of the Licensing Act 2003. This application was in respect of Kwik Stop News and Booze, Linden Drive, Lostock Hall.
In respect of a question by the Premises Licence Holder?s legal representative, the chairman asked whether they wished to proceed with the meeting in the absence of the police officers that provided the witness statements. The legal representative indicated that as this had already been noted by the panel they were happy to continue.
With the permission of the panel and in accordance with the council?s hearing procedure, the Licensing Officer introduced the application.
The applicant (the police?s representative, Sergeant Bushell), then addressed the panel and questions were asked. The Premises Licence Holder (accompanied by his legal representative) then addressed the panel and questions were asked.
Having fully considered the representations (written and oral), the panel retired to reach its decision.
In reaching its decision the panel took into account the following:
? both written and oral evidence presented in connection with the hearing
? Licensing Act 2003
? S182 Amended Guidance of the Licensing Act 2003 and taken into account the references to the guidance made by both parties
? South Ribble Borough Council?s Licensing Policy
RESOLVED (UNANIMOUS): that ?
1. the application to revoke the premises licence in respect of Kwik Stop News and Booze, Linden Drive, Lostock Hall, be not granted.
2. for the following reasons, the modification or addition of the conditions on the licence as set out below be granted.
Prior to giving the decision the chairman made the following observations:
?The panel has given serious consideration to all the evidence brought before them and before handing over to the legal representative I make the following observations:
The upholding of the rule of law is paramount to a civilised society and the police represent that rule of law. The police have a duty to uphold the law to prevent crime and to protect the public. This requires policing by consent. Mr Hussain, as a Premises Licence Holder has a responsible position in society in general and your local community in particular. As a citizen you have responsibility within the community you live and run your business. The panel find your obstructive behaviour towards the police in the exercise of their duties to fall far below the standards expected from someone in such a position as yourself.
The panel do not accept the explanation regarding the wiping of the CCTV provided by Mr Hussain. The panel deplore the use of drugs or possession of drugs especially on licensed premises. The panel are very concerned regarding the suspicions raised by the Police of possible receiving and selling of stolen goods. It is Mr Hussain?s responsibility to ensure responsible staff are employed at the store. However, the panel concede after considering the evidence that there is insufficient evidence to support the police assertion. The panel are of the opinion the applicant has not provided sufficient evidence to support their application for revocation. However, the panel feel that steps are required to ensure the premises are run in a proper manner in the future. The panel expect Mr Hussain to fully co-operate with the police in the future.?
The following was decided ?
The panel ?
1. accepted that the issues surrounding the stolen mobile phone from the pupil and failed test purchase for the sale of cigarettes to a minor were as a result of the actions of Mr Hussain?s brother.
2. accepted that there was no actual evidence of underage sales of alcohol from this premises
3. accepted there was evidence of possession but not the supply of drugs and in particular there was no prosecution with Mr Hussain accepting a caution.
4. accepted that Mr Hussain has held the Premises Licence for the last 8 years with the issues only arising from February 2013 following the failed test purchase and in particular May 2013 and the incident with the mobile phone, but as stated above accepted that they involved Mr Hussain?s brother who the panel were informed no longer works at the premises.
5. noted that since the failed test purchase Mr Hussain had introduced a refusal register and upgraded the CCTV system
6. did not think the current CCTV system was sufficient
7. heard evidence from the police asking them to consider the ?fit and proper person? test in relation to Mr Hussain. Unfortunately the Licensing Act 2003 did not provide the facility to allow them to do so.
8. accepted that there were problems with criminal activity, criminal damage and underage sales in the area but there was no actual evidence to prove that this premises was the cause of these problems
9. accepted that Mr Hussain failed to co-operate with the police and find such actions unacceptable.
10. acknowledged Mr Hussain?s submission that his staff were trained and experienced but had not provided with any proof of that.
The panel initially considered whether any of the licensing objectives had been undermined. Their conclusion was that in respect of the objectives of public nuisance, public safety and protection of children from harm the panel concluded that there was no actual (rather than circumstantial) evidence to link the premises directly with the matters complained of.
In respect of the objective of the prevention of crime and disorder the panel concluded that the issues of the stolen mobile phone and failed cigarette test purchase were as a result of Mr Hussain?s brother?s actions. Mr Hussain had stated that his brother no longer worked at the premises and as such the objective had been balanced in that respect.
In respect of the actions of Mr Hussain the panel felt that although they had heard from the police in respect of their concerns about him as a person and his fitness to hold the premises licence that it was not in their power to consider the ?fit and proper person? test more particularly as there had not been demonstrated any actual problems with the running of the premises in regards to the sale of alcohol. In fact they had passed both test purchasing operations previously undertaken and there was no other direct evidence of problems or breaches of the premises licensing conditions.
The issue of the suitability of Mr Hussain himself is one that can only be considered by the Magistrates Court as part of criminal prosecution. In fact the panel referred specially to Sergeant Bushell?s statement that but for Mr Hussain?s lack of co-operation at the time of the drugs investigation this matter may not have come before the panel.
The panel feel that they have to consider this application for review on whether there is evidence to show that the way this premises is being run undermines any of the four licensing objectives. In particular they noted that there have been no failed test purchases for the sale/supply of alcohol and no evidence of breaches of the premises licence conditions.
The panel therefore felt there was insufficient evidence to show that the licensing objectives had been undermined to warrant revocation of the licence but additional/revised conditions were required to address the issues raised by the police regarding CCTV evidence, co-operation from Mr Hussain and the prevention of underage sales.
The conditions to be revised/added are as follows:
1. All staff will be trained in licensing issues with specific training in respect of preventing under age sales and preventing the sale of alcohol to those intoxicated. Records of this training will be kept on site and made immediately available for inspection to an authorised officer or Police Officer
2. The premises shall operate a Challenge 25 Proof of Age Policy
3. The following are the only forms of acceptable age identification documentation:
4. No person under the age of 18 will be allowed to authorise the sale or supply of alcohol
5. A refusals book will be used to record all occasions on which a sale of alcohol has been refused and such records shall be made available for inspection to an authorised officer or Police Officer on request.
6. CCTV will be installed internally and externally at the premises and will comply with the following:
a. The CCTV shall cover all public areas of the premises.
b. The system will display on any recording the correct time and date of the recording
c. The system will make recordings during all hours that the premises are open to the public
d. The VCR tapes or digital recording media will be held for a minimum of 31 days after the recording is made and will be made available to the Police or an authorised officer acting for a Responsible Authority for inspection on request.
e. The system will, as a minimum, record images of the head and shoulders of all persons entering the premises
7. A staff member who is conversant with the operation of the CCTV system will be on the premises at all times the premises are open to the public. This staff member will be able to show police or authorise officer data or footage on request.
8. The Premises Licence Holder or Designated Premises Supervisor will notify the Police Licensing Unit on any occasion when the CCTV is to be inoperative for a period in excess of one working day and at the time of notification of the said system becoming inoperative shall provide a certificate from a competent person stating the reason for the system being inoperative and the measures which have been taken to satisfy the licence conditions.
9. Appropriate signs informing customers that CCTV is recording will be displayed in conspicuous positions on the premises
10. Monthly documented maintenance checks of the CCTV system, including the recording system, will be carried out by the Designated Premises Supervisor to ensure that the system is in good working order and fit for purpose. Such checks shall be recorded in a book and be provided to a Police Officer or authorised officer on request
11. A clear legible notice will be displayed in a conspicuous position at every exit point from the premises asking customers to avoid causing noise nuisance or disturbance to local residents
12. Alcohol shall not be sold in an open container or be consumed in the licensed premises
The panel therefore concluded that the modification or addition of conditions would redress the undermining of the Licensing Objective.?