Alliance welcomes new police powers to close disorderly pubs and clubs

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Monday, December 10th, 2012
South Down Alliance Party spokesperson Councillor Patrick Clarke has welcomed new legislation effective from 10th December which will allow a Senior Police Officer to close specific licensed premises or a private members club where disorder is occurring on the premises or in the vicinity. The introduction of these new closure powers will also enable a court to order licensed premises or private members clubs in an area of actual or expected disorder to close for up to 24 hours. Speaking to Newry Times, Alliance Party Councillor Patrick Clarke stated, “I welcome the new powers introduced by the Minister for Social Development, which will enable the police to close down pubs and clubs in the event of disorder.” “Whilst I accept there are many very responsible licensee landlords of pubs and clubs, there are still those who feel they can flout the law by allowing anti-social behaviour in their premises. These new powers will help to deter anti-social behaviour in and outside pubs and clubs.” “The new powers will allow police to make an application to a court for the closure of licensed premises or registered clubs in any area where disorder is occurring or expected. The PSNI will use these powers where necessary in order to protect public safety. “They also give PSNI the power to make a closure order in respect of a single licensed premises or registered club again in the interests of public safety.” Clarke added, “The new powers will only be used as a total last resort and after all other options have been exhausted so I believe that such measures will only be enforced by the PSNI in the event of major ant-social behaviour and disorder on licensed premises.” “I believe that the new powers will act as a safeguard for the public whilst ensuring licensed premises and registered clubs focus on their responsibilities to maintain order and minimise anti-social behaviour on their premises.”
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