Police Christmas appeal over pub laws

Police in Derry have vowed to crack down on those who flaunt pub licensing laws this Christmas.

As part of Operation Season’s Greetings the police aim to ensure licensees operate safely and responsibly this Christmas.

The PSNI are particularly reminding publicans to ensure they operate within permitted opening hours and that minors are not sold alcoholic drink. Licensing Officer, Constable Paul Larkin said: “The vast majority of licensees operate safely and responsibly right across the District however there are a few who choose to ignore the licensing laws. As we approach Christmas, the PSNI is asking all licensees to ensure they plan ahead for the festive season taking account of the increased footfall and the potential high spirits of customers at this time of year. With ‘Test Purchasing’ now in operation across Northern Ireland it is also a good time to remind staff of the need to check identification, providing a clear message to customers that if you look under 21 and have no ID, you will not be served,” he added.

He urged vintners to remember the following points to ensure they are operating safely and legally this Christmas.

• Challenge 21 - Protect your licence and ensure young persons under 18 years of age are not sold alcohol

• Ensure persons who appear to be drunk are not sold alcohol

• Plan ahead for any anticipated or spontaneous increase in customer numbers ensuring you have adequate door and bar staff available

• Check your numbers – do not permit any overcrowding within your premises

• Think about how you can minimise any disturbance to any nearby business or residential neighbourhoods regarding noise and when customers leave your premises

• Please ensure that you avoid any form of irresponsible drinks promotions, especially those that encourage excessive consumption of alcohol and binge drinking