Jersey has a diverse group of licensed premises ranging from traditional public houses, wine bars and restaurants to nightclubs, members only clubs, hotels and shops. Jersey has close to 600 premises currently holding one or more of the seven categories of licence. It is our job in the Licensing Support Team to work with them to ensure compliance with the law so that everyone can enjoy a safe night (or day) out in well-managed premises.
Our team consists of four Police Constables who work within the Operational Support Unit: Andy Du Feu, Celio Abreu, James Perrett and Phil Downes. As you can probably imagine working with over 600 premises brings challenges for us and requires effective partnership working with local agencies and most importantly the licensees.
The licensing team monitors the activities of licensed premises on a day-to-day basis and we follow this up with proactive work which focuses around the busy times of the week. This allows the team to witness first-hand the good work conducted by the staff of premises and also to provide help and support to those who need it.
No two days are ever the same for the team, of course that can be said of all elements of Police work. For us, the majority of the visible work we conduct is during the evenings and weekends with a focus towards five main objectives:
Our job is not just about identifying breaches in the law and seeking a prosecution. We are looking to build working partnerships that educate and support licensees in what is a difficult line of work. The team are also trying to bring a multi-agency approach to licensing issues. We recognise that monitoring compliance with the terms of an alcohol license is more than just the responsibility of the Police. We regularly work alongside Jersey Fire and Rescue Service, Customs & Immigration, The Health and Safety Inspectorate, Trading Standards and our Honorary Police colleagues to name just a few.
When we visit a pub or club on an evening, there are a number of things that we look out for including individuals who have been excluded (barred) from licensed premises by the court, signs of drug use and underage drinking. We are also looking for signs of drunkenness. Being drunk on licensed premises is a lawful reason that we can use to remove someone from a pub. We also have a lawful reason to remove someone if they are causing a nuisance, behaving in a disorderly way or if we believe they are going to cause problems later in the evening. We are not looking to spoil anyone’s night but are looking to take preventative action. This will hopefully avoid having to arrest somebody later whose drunkenness has affected their behaviour so severely that they end up in a police cell facing the consequences of the actions they took.
We conduct visits like this every weekend and have built up a good rapport with licensees. They realise that we are here to work with them and make their premises safe for all their customers to enjoy. Our primary aim is to make friendly contact, deal with any issues and help people who need us.
Our team also work alongside the operational shifts, supporting them whenever required so our skills and knowledge needs to be broad. We could easily find ourselves being sent from a busy nightclub to a serious road collision.
Our work also looks at the broader impact of alcohol on the community from underage purchasing, drinking and the effects of the resulting antisocial behaviour to stopping drink drivers.
This is just a snapshot of what we do. If you want to know more, please contact one of the team at Police Headquarters or follow our activities on twitter @JerseyLicensing.
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