3.1.2 Licensed Premises
A summary of this chapter is available – see the Factsheets section in Local Resources.
In March 2020, minor amendments were made throughout in line with local practice/terminology
1. Responsible Authority
The Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership is the statutory body designated as ‘Responsible Authority’ for the protection of children from harm under the Licensing Act 2003 and for the protection of children and vulnerable people under the Gambling Act 2005.The Licensing Manager is the designated officer authorised to execute the statutory duties of the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership under the Licensing Act 2003 and of the Sheffield Safeguarding Partnerships under the Gambling Act 2005. Applications and correspondence relating to these Acts should be addressed to:
Floor 3, Howden House
Sheffield S1 2SH
Tel: 07854 219 682
2. Protection of Children from Harm
The Children’s Safeguarding Partnership recognises the distinction made under the Licensing Act 2003 between children and young people, however it should be noted that as far as the protection of children is concerned this applies to all young people until their 18th birthday. The Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership expects all agencies working with children, or sharing information about children, to refer any child protection concerns relating to licensed premises to the attention of the Licensing Manager and if relevant, to Children’s Social Care Services. Concerns may include:
- Premises having a reputation for under-age drinking;
- Premises with a known association with criminality (child exploitation; drug taking/dealing; weapons);
- Premises where there are concerns of a child protection nature about individuals working in licensed premises where children are present;
- Premises providing adult gambling or gaming with inadequate safeguarding controls in place;
- Premises providing entertainment of a sexual or adult nature with inadequate safeguarding controls in place;
- Premises employing children of compulsory school age in paid or unpaid work, or in performance, without having the necessary licence or permits in place;
- Premises failing to provide a secure and appropriate family friendly environment when children are present;
- Premises allowing children to resort inappropriately (for example regularly allowing children during times they would normally be expected to be in full-time education);
- Premises causing excessive noise at night in residential areas;
- Children living in licensed premises where unsafe or unsuitable activity is taking place;
- Premises where children are not properly supervised.
In addition to the legal responsibilities for child protection placed on licensed operators, the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership expects that there is a social responsibility for all members of staff and the public accessing the premises to be aware of child protection issues and to take action if they consider any child or young person to be at risk of harm.This procedure applies to locations that are licensed premises, licensed events and club certificated premises. The principles of this procedure may also be applied to unlicensed operations, to establish safeguarding policies and protocols and develop good safeguarding practice.
3. Applications for a New Licence, Variation of Licence, or Minor Variation
It is the expectation of the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership that the following principles are incorporated into applications for premises licences or variations. These principles may be used in giving information to applicants for premises licences or club premises certificates or licensed events, to help them promote the licensing objective of 'The Protection of Children from Harm'. Where applicants fail to consider these principles then the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership may make representations to the Licensing Authority with the request that they be incorporated by way of licence conditions, if granted by the Licensing Authority.
In cases where the Licensing Authority or other Responsible Authority elects to consult with the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership about an application for a minor variation or event, the Licensing Manager shall provide a written response to that Authority and if necessary, to the applicant.
4. Principles to be incorporated into the Licence/Club Certificate or Event Manual
The Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership expects that where children are permitted, the licensed environment must be safe and family friendly, in line with the Licensing Authority Statement of Licensing Policy and Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership guidance.
4.1 A Family Friendly Environment
- Alcohol - Provisions should be in place to see that alcohol is not served to, or purchased on behalf of, under-age young people. This should include use of a recognised age verification scheme which requires, for example, photographic evidence of identity from a passport, driving licence or other recognised scheme. All staff responsible for selling age restricted goods should be trained to operate this scheme and staff training records should be maintained and audited. This scheme should operate in compliance with the partnership guidance issued by South Yorkshire Police, the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership and Trading Standards.
The Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership expects that children will not be exposed at licensed premises to persons who are behaving irresponsibly, for example if they behave in a drunk or disorderly manner, if they become aggressive, use strong or offensive language, or engage in otherwise inappropriate behaviour.
Premises or clubs evidenced to be selling alcohol illegally or irresponsibly or those failing to provide a family friendly environment are expected to attend the relevant training to safeguard children from the risks associated with alcohol;
- Advertising - Drinks promotions must comply with the requirements of the mandatory licence conditions. Applicants are recommended to consider advertising products and promotions in compliance with a recognised Code of Practice. Alcohol should not be advertised in a manner that may incite, or attract young people to drink. Applicants should also give consideration to their soft drink pricing policy so as not to discourage consumption of soft drinks by customers;
- Signage should be displayed to indicate the age verification policy, the location of the designated family area and any restrictions relating to children (for example, if they are required in time to be off the premises);
- Drugs / Psychoactive Substances - The trade or misuse of drugs or Psychoactive Substances at licensed premises is a safeguarding concern. At premises, clubs or events where substance misuse issues have been identified, the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership expects that the premises management or event organiser shall implement a risk management plan and consider whether harm reduction measures would be appropriate as part of their policy. It is expected that a risk management plan would include: the maintenance of an incident log; signage; regular and audited patrols of the premise including toilet/external areas; staff training and maintenance of training records, proactive interventions with customers considered to be at risk of harm and the use of safe ejection procedures. Premises/clubs are expected to address substance misuse activity by working in partnership with the police and other agencies such as the Security Industry Authority. Event managers are also expected to manage risk in partnership with substance misuse treatment services or qualified welfare experts; this may involve, for example, consultation regarding a harm reduction approach at events. Please see Appendix 1i: Harm Reduction Guidance;
- Noise - Managers of licensed premises or clubs that are situated in residential areas need to be aware that children and young people living near those premises may be disturbed by any excessive noise, for example: loud music or noise made by customers leaving premises late at night. This should be addressed through signage and verbal advice to customers or members. If children are living at a licensed premises, consideration should be given to the impact of noise on the welfare of those children;
- Location - Where licensed premises, certificated clubs or gambling premises are in close proximity to schools, nurseries, parks, or other children's provision, consideration will be given to how issues such as alcohol misuse, criminality, advertising and adult entertainment may impact on children, particularly during the day and in garden or outside areas;
- Entertainment - Safeguarding measures must be in place for the protection of children from adult entertainment, including striptease, blue comedians, gambling, or the showing of films with inappropriate classifications or films considered unsuitable for children by the local council;
- Child Entertainment - Where an activity takes place at a licensed venue which is directly aimed at children, such as a children's party or show, consideration must be given to the content of the performance and the number of adults required to be present, and the responsibilities of those adults required to be present, and the responsibilities of staff, to ensure that children are supervised and protected from harm. If staff have responsibilities for supervising children's activities in the absence of a responsible adult, or if staff are in one to one private contact with children, they should be appropriately vetted. If an activity requires children to be accompanied by a responsible adult, this requirement should be publicized (in the booking contract, tickets or publicity materials) and strictly enforced. Consideration must also be given to whether a child performance licence is required. See also Appendix 1d & 1e: Child in Entertainment and Employment Summaries;
- Child-Minding - If children are living on the premises then adequate minding arrangements must be in place whilst their parents/carers are working. Working staff should not 'mind' children from a remote location, or attempt to care for children within the licensed areas when operating under a premises licence;
- Outside areas/play areas - Children's play areas must comply with the requirements of the Health Protection Service and health and safety regulations apply. All external areas should be routinely monitored to prevent children from being at risk of harm. Signage should be displayed regarding the policy for supervising children in play areas;
- Restrictions - Where the Licensing Authority has placed specific restrictions on a licence relating to children, any breach of those restrictions coming to the attention of the safeguarding partners will be referred immediately to the Licensing Authority. The Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership considers that the restrictions imposed by licence conditions apply to all children accessing the event, premises or club, including children living, working, entertaining or socialising at licensed establishments;
- Smoking - Children exposed to the effects of a smoking environment are at risk of harm and consideration must be given to the welfare of children when designating any external smoking areas. Arrangements should be in place to prevent children being left unattended while parents/carers use designated smoking areas and to make sure children are not exposed to smoke. The Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership expects that at premises where smoking is the main or sole activity, such as shisha venues, a policy should be in place to prevent access to children and to prevent underage tobacco sales. Such measures include a recognised age verification scheme and staff training. An over 18 policy should be in place to prevent children being allowed to resort at times when the environment is adult orientated.
- Children working or involved in performance/entertainment
- No staff under the age of 18 years are to be employed (paid or unpaid) on the premises where adult entertainment takes place. See also Appendix 1d & 1e: Child in Entertainment and Employment Summaries;
- Children of non-compulsory school age are restricted when selling alcohol and sales may only take place in compliance with the Guidance issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 which requires specific supervision by a designated 'responsible person';
- If children of non-compulsory age are working with licensed premises/club or event, the terms and conditions of their work must comply with the licence conditions, health and safety working time regulations and a safeguarding risk assessment should be undertaken;
- A work permit must be obtained for all children who are employed or engaged in voluntary work whilst of compulsory school age and regulations must be complied with regarding the type and hours of work they are permitted to undertake;
- Children involved in entertainment or performance may require a licence from the Council to ensure the necessary safeguards are in place. Children must not participate in performance or entertainment in breach of any restrictions imposed by any licence conditions;
- It is expected that safeguarding risk assessments will be submitted to the Council at the point of applying for a work permit or performance licence and that the Council's good practice guidance for Chaperones is complied with for all children working or performing under the age of 18 years.
- Vetting - the applicant is responsible for ensuring that any staff working on licensed premises who may have specific access to children through the nature of their employment (for example, coaching, supervised play areas, children's entertainment) have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks which are current;
- Entertainers - children's entertainers who are contracted to work at licensed premises/clubs or events should produce a reference or if their responsibilities involve private contact with children or supervision, a personal and recent enhanced DBS check should be produced. This may also apply to individuals volunteering their services, such as play supervisors or providers of children's entertainment;
- Applications for Chaperones/work permits/performance licences - The Licensing Manager shall support the Licensing Authority to respond to applications when safeguarding issues arise, including the conducting of investigations of complaints and interviewing applicants for chaperone licences.
This protocol reflects a two-way process of communication between the Licensing Authority and Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership.
In line with the legislation and guidance:
- All applications for new or varied premises licences must be sent to the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership, as the Responsible Authority for the protection of children from harm, by the applicant. Applications should be submitted to the Licensing Manager at the address stated in Section 1 within the legal timescale as set out in the Licensing Act 2003;
- The Licensing Authority will provide the Licensing Manager with a weekly schedule of current applications in order to check that the Licensing Manager has received all applications. The Licensing Manager shall liaise with the Licensing Authority regarding applications not received;
- If a representation is to be made by Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership in respect of an individual licence application then this will be done within the statutory time limit (currently 28 days).
On receipt of an application, the Licensing Manager will do the following:
- Assess the application and maintain audited records of any decision made on behalf of the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership. This includes liaison with the relevant Responsible Authorities/agencies/applicant, to identify if there are any issues relating to the 'Protection of Children from Harm' or to share additional information, to inform the assessment process;
- Where possible, the Licensing Manager shall assist the applicant, or the applicant's representative, by providing advice. To expedite the application process and avoid unnecessary hearings, the Licensing Manager shall where possible negotiate with the applicant or applicant's representative, so that the necessary safeguarding measures are included in the application as licence conditions;
- The application will be available at the Licensing General Section of the Sheffield City Council if members of the public, statutory agencies or any other organization wish to examine the application or raise concerns to the Licensing Manager;
- In the event of any concerns being raised to the Licensing Manager, the Licensing Manager will investigate and a decision will be reached as to whether a representation will be submitted to the Licensing Authority under the core objective for the protection of children from harm;
- If, after appropriate consultation, no concerns are identified on behalf of the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership, the Licensing Manager will record that no concerns were identified and the grounds for this decision shall be recorded by the Licensing Manager;
- If a representation is to be made on behalf of the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership, the Licensing Manager will formulate a response to the Licensing Authority;
- The Licensing Manager will make the appropriate arrangement for representation at any Licensing hearing or subsequent court appeal.
6. Premises of Concern, Complaints and Review of Licences
If child protection concerns are identified by the Licensing Manager, or any agency or individual, relating to an establishment that has a current licence, or relating to an individual associated with that premises, the Licensing Manager will investigate those concerns. Where possible, advice and support shall be offered to assist with improving the safeguarding measures at the premises/club/event (for example a multi-agency action plan, training, or event de-briefing meetings). In cases where this course of action is not appropriate, a licence review may be sought by the Licensing Manager or other Responsible Authority.If children are living at a licensed establishment where child protection concerns have been identified (for example venues associated with violence, drug use/dealing, or persons posing a risk to children) the Licensing Manager shall liaise with the relevant agencies.
It is the expectation of the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership that events are planned and operated in compliance with the guidance and training issued by the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership. See Appendix 1: Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership 'Guidance for Best Practice: Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable People at Events'. The Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership may seek licence conditions to establish compliance at licensed events.
The Licensing Manager shall represent the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership at, or be consulted by, Safety Advisory Group meetings, that are convened and recorded by Sheffield City Council, and will advise on issues relating to the protection of children from harm at licensed events or similar.
The Licensing Manager shall provide advice on request to providers or agencies involved with events operating under a Temporary Event Notice or in relation to unlicensed events.
The Licensing Manager shall support the Licensing Authority and other relevant agencies, to provide advice to schools/colleges about:
- Educational establishments operating as a licensed premises;
- Safeguarding children at events on school land;
- Children and young people and employment at licensed premises;
- Children involved in performance or entertainment at licensed premises;
- Risk management and information sharing in relation to licensed or unlicensed businesses.
It is the expectation of the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership that, at premises where activities regulated under the Gambling Act 2005 take place, the operator shall comply with:
- The principles set out in the guidance and code of practice issued by the Gambling Commission;
- The principles and measures set out in the Licensing Authority's 'Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles (Policy)';
- The guidance issued by the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership.
These principles may be used by operators or applicants, to promote the core objective for 'Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling' under the Gambling Act 2005. This may include:
- A risk assessment to be undertaken with reference to the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership (Licensing) Risk Assessment tool and guidance (see Appendix 3: Risk Assessment for Children and Vulnerable People at Gambling Premises);
- A member of staff to be designated with a responsibility for children's issues - see Appendix 2: Description of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator Role at Gambling Premises;
- A recognised age verification scheme to be operated in all areas of the premises where alcohol is on sale and at entrances to areas of the premises which give access to adult gambling/adult entertainment facilities;
- Signage to be displayed in areas where children are admitted stating that adults must supervise their children at all times;
- Segregation of age-restricted activity areas and security monitoring;
- Signage displayed on age restricted games;
- Staff in gambling settings should receive safeguarding awareness training that is recognised by the Council's Licensing Authority and local safeguarding partnership.
Where applicants fail to comply with these principles then the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership may inform the Gambling Commission and Licensing Authority and make representations to the Licensing Authority, with the request that they be incorporated by way of licence conditions.
Where relevant, the procedures and protocols in relation to applications made under the Licensing Act 2003 shall apply to applications made under the Gambling Act 2005, including the response of the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership to premises of concern, complaints and the review of licences.