If a licensee is trading in breach of his licence then the police can issue a closure notice under s.19 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. There has been some confusion in recent years about whether when such a notice is issued it means that the pub has to cease trading. In a recent case the Bank in Wakefield was shut 5 times after police issued closure notices because the pub did not have a female door supervisor as required by its licence. The pub claimed damages for loss of profits and succeeded in getting a court order clarifying the situation. The court said that “the service of a closure notice does not require the premises to close or cease selling alcohol immediately or entitle the Police to require it to do so or entitle the Police to arrest a person on the sole ground of non-compliance with the Notice”.
It is now clear that if you are issued with a closure notice by police this is a warning to remedy the breach of your licence condition within the period specified in the notice, usually 7 days. If you fail to do so the police may then apply to a Magistrates Court for a closure order. The original notice issued by police does not require you to cease trading but it is a warning to comply or risk being closed down.
The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the present time and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.