37.1 The body which Welwyn Hatfield Council recognises as being competent to advise on matters relating to the protection of children from harm is the Hertfordshire County Council, Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and they are listed as a responsible authority in Appendix B.
37.2 The Council will not seek to limit the access of children to any premises unless it is necessary for the prevention of physical, moral or psychological harm. In all other cases it will be left to the discretion of the premises licence holder, club certificate holder or other relevant person where no conditions or restrictions are imposed.
37.3 The areas that will give rise to particular concern in respect of children are listed below.
- Where entertainment or services of an adult or sexual nature are commonly provided.
- Where there have been convictions of members of staff at the premises for serving alcohol to minors or with a reputation for underage drinking;
- With a known association with drug taking or dealing
- Where there is a strong element of gambling on the premises (but not, for example, the simple presence of a small number of cash prize gaming machines); and
- Where the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises is the exclusive or primary purpose of the services provided at the premises. This list is not exhaustive.
37.4 Each application will be considered on its own merits. Where there are matters that give rise to serious concerns and suitable conditions cannot address those concerns we will consider refusing an application.
37.5 The range of alternatives which may be considered for limiting the access of children where that is necessary for the prevention of harm for children can be adopted in combination, and include
- Limitations on the hours when children may be present;
- Limitations excluding the presence of children under certain ages when particular specified activities are taking place;
- Limitations on the parts of premises to which children might be given access;
- Age limitations (below 18)
- Requirements for accompanying adults (including for example, a combination of requirements which provide that children under a particular age must be accompanied by an adult); and
- Full exclusion of those people under 18 from the premises where any licensable activities are taking place.
37.6 The council will take advice from a body competent to recognise the dangers of harm to children, namely the Hertfordshire Local Safeguarding Children Board. The Council will maintain close contact with the police, young offenders’ teams and trading standard officers about the extent of unlawful sales and consumption of alcohol by minors and are involved in the development of any strategies to control or prevent these unlawful activities and pursue prosecutions.
37.7 It is unlawful for children under 18 to attempt to buy alcohol, just as it is unlawful to sell or supply alcohol to them. The mandatory conditions require all premises selling or supplying alcohol to have an age verification scheme in place.
37.8 Acceptable forms of Proof of Age are:
- Photo Driving Licence
- Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS)
37.9 Where a premises is used for film exhibitions, we will expect the premises to restrict access in line with any certificate granted by the British Board of Film Classification or the Council itself.
37.10 In recent years, incidents of child sexual exploitation (CSE) taking place in licensed premises have been of particular concern across the country. Whilst there has been no specific intelligence suggesting incidents have taken place in Welwyn Hatfield, the Council will work via existing partnerships, including the licensed trade, to ensure that any concerns in relation to CSE can be tackled and addressed appropriately