Consultation on city centre licensing policies set to start

Cabinet has agreed to go out to a wide-ranging consultation on its licensing policy and city centre cumulative impact assessment (CIA) which together aim to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre. 

The council’s licensing policy is up for renewal after five years. The CIA is being reviewed after three years. The CIA can help limit the number or type of licence applications granted, where there is evidence to show that the number of licensed premises is leading to problems, such as crime and disorder in the area.

David Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Performance, said: “The reports seen by Cabinet show how our approach to licensing is helping develop the city centre as a safe, welcoming destination for night-time visitors while also supporting jobs and the community.”

Cllr Hopkins said the reviews are designed to ensure they continue to be fit for the job they do in providing clear guidance on how those providing alcohol, food and entertainment in the city centre go about their business.

He said: “They play a key role in supporting the council’s licensing committee, ensuring the cumulative impact of licensed premises is not detrimental to the city centre, its residents, businesses and visitors alike.”

The CIA report includes an update that shows overall crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre has declined by as much as 45% in some areas since the last licensing policy review in 2018.

Between 2017 and 2022, the Wind Street area saw a 39% reduction in anti-social behaviour, a 25% reduction in crime and a 33% reduction in violent crime.

In the Kingsway area, during the same period, there was a 43% reduction in recorded crime, 45% reduction in violent crime and a 31% reduction in anti-social behaviour. The High Street area has also witnessed overall reductions in crime, violent crime and anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Hopkins said: “As part of the consultation process for the policies we’ll be welcoming comment from a range of businesses and organisations on progress so far and how things can continue to improve in the years ahead.”

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