Licensing policy and CCTV
New Licensing policy: “The use of CCTV for most premises is unlikely to be appropriate or required.”
On the matter of the licensing policy… I am very pleased to see that the new Licensing policy states that “the use of CCTV for most premises is unlikely to be appropriate or required.” In practice, however, most pubs do have CCTV, often included as part of their licensing conditions. Personally, I would like to see our local pubs (and indeed those across the district) opting to remove their surveillance cameras, such cameras are largely unnecessary and, if they were really necessary, this would probably point to wider problems with the venue.
Conditions mandating CCTV have often been included, in large part, because the police request it, and the applicant then, for an easy life, includes it in the operating schedule, which is then transposed into the licensing conditions, all dealt with under delegated powers, without a full licensing hearing.
I remain of the view that the best way to deal with this issue would be to prevent CCTV being included in licenses granted under delegated powers, thereby ensuring that such conditions will only attach to exceptional cases. However, the additional wording, insisting that a standard licence ought not to require CCTV will, hopefully, give pub landlords the confidence to reject police requests for CCTV, as well as, perhaps, reducing the likelihood of such a request being made.
To any landlords reading this I would point out that, if CCTV is included in your licence, then it can cause problems for you, for example I know of a local pub where details to do with the citing of their CCTV formed part of the substance of a police complaint against them, leading to an unwanted review of the licence. Equally police can get annoyed with landlords who are unable to access the CCTV at short notice, and the council, broadly, expects Landlords to comply with the CCTV code of conduct. On the other hand, you now know that no CCTV should be required at all as a condition of your licence, unless you ask for it to be included. So I humbly submit that you may now find life is easier if you reject requests for CCTV to be included as a condition of your licence.