Blog by licensing officer for the Fenland area of Cambridgeshire
I am the Licensing officer for the Fenland area of Cambridgeshire and am enjoying the Licensing Week updates.
I have a range of over 750 Sq Miles which I cover and if the Daily Mail is to be believed I have the second highest Off License to person in England and Wales at the moment.
I have seen enormous strides with the Night Time Economy and the issues this used to cause us, we have come from a very high ASB / Fight problem in the Pub Clusters to a far lower level in my three years I have been in post.
For me the key have been working with the Pubwatch schemes and taking on board what issues they raise and looking at “Problem” venues and trying to work with them and should that fail, taking firm action.
Working with the Pubwatch Schemes has been enormously useful in the Fenland area and this has helped to empower the businesses to bring their own houses in order where needed, even in the more problematic venues I still have, the owners contact me when they have issues and we work together to try and come to a suitable action plan to reduce risk further.
All in all this is reaping benefits in my area and I now have far more time to deal proactively with other issues including working with the Community Safety Partnership in tackling other issues, this is seeing me form an ‘Off License Watch’ in Wisbech in the hopes that I can emulate the good work and practice carried out by the Pub Watch with a view to sharing information that would hopefully lead to a reduction in Street Drinking issues occurring both inside of and outside of the Night Time Economy times.
As an Enforcement Agency, I am finding diligent working and building bridges with the licensed trade is now showing a lot of promise, which has to be good as the public are far more willing to go out where there is less chance of disorder, meaning more money for the Economy and less time spent by Emergency Services dealing with issues arising out of poor NTE.
PC Phil Richardson
Fenland Licensing Officer