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Premises licence guidance for protection of children from harm

Applications for premises licences are handled by Surrey district and borough councils. As part of the application process Surrey Safeguarding and Children's Service will examine section M of your application for the measures that you intend to take to protect children from harm.

You will need to send a copy of your application to:
Surrey Child Employment Team, Quadrant Court, 35 Guildford Road, Woking GU22 7QQ

Or by email to childemployment@surreycc.gov.uk

Safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility. All premises licence holders and new applicants must ensure they are fulfilling their responsibility to safeguard children in and around their premises. In particular, awareness of the threat of child sexual exploitation and measures to prevent underage sales of alcohol.

Before applying for a new premises licence or a variation to an existing licence to be granted under the Licensing Act 2003, you should read the guidance below which explains:

  • The measures that are expected of existing licence holders and new applicants
  • What should be included in the operating schedule for new applications
  • Other things that you should take into consideration

Guidance for Premises licence holders and operators regarding the Licensing Act 2003 section M - Licensing Objective – The Protection of Children From Harm

Introduction

This guidance is provided for all holders and operators of premises licences in a Surrey Borough, and all applicants for new Premises licences or variations to existing premises licences, made to a Surrey Borough.

Safeguarding Principles

Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 places a duty on a range of organisations and individuals to ensure their functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility and all premises licence holders, operators and new applicants must familiarise themselves with the principles of 'Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018' and ensure they are fulfilling their responsibility to safeguard the children in and around their premises.

Procedure

When completing an application for a new premises licence or variation to an existing licence to be granted under the Licensing Act 2003, you will need to demonstrate that you can run your business in accordance with the four licensing objectives:

  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm

On completion each application must be submitted to the appropriate Surrey Borough. A copy must also be submitted to a number of responsible authorities who will check that the steps you intend to take to promote these objectives are appropriate. Surrey Safeguarding Children Service is the responsible authority which examines the measures included in the applications, to promote the licensing objective 'Protection of Children from Harm'.

Copies of applications should be sent to: Surrey Child Employment Team, Quadrant Court, 35 Guildford Road, Woking GU22 7QQ or by email to childemployment@surreycc.gov.uk

What is expected from licence holders and new applicants?

Surrey Safeguarding Children Service expects that all premises licence holders, operators and new applicants will:

  • Take appropriate steps to ensure that staff have an awareness of the threat of Child Sexual Exploitation, access to relevant training; that guidance is available to all staff as to how to recognise Child Sexual Exploitation and what action to take if they suspect Child Sexual Exploitation is taking place
  • Familiarise themselves with the principles of 'Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018'. Surrey Safeguarding Children Board provides information and online training.
  • Ensure that staff will be facilitated and supported in attending any training on Child Protection and Safeguarding

What should be included in the operating schedule for new applications?

Applicants for new premises licences and variations to existing licences will be expected to set out in the operating schedule accompanying their application, a statement of the measures that they will take to protect children from harm.

Depending on the type of business you are requesting a licence for, these measures could include:-

  • Maintain records of appropriate training of all staff. Training to include
    • Age verification procedures relating to age restricted sales
    • Prevention of children acquiring or consuming
    • How to recognise indicators of child sexual exploitation
    • How to report suspicious activities and concerns about possible perpetrators of child sexual exploitation operating in their area to the appropriate authorities.
  • Records of training and briefings are to be available on the premises for inspection by Policy and Council officers on request
  • To have a company policy on protecting children from abuse including Child Sexual Exploitation which includes informing all staff of the signs and indications of child sexual exploitation, the monitoring of areas such as toilets and beer gardens and reporting of suspicious activity
  • Display appropriate signs/posters in a prominent position highlighting the signs of CSE and who to contact to raise concerns
  • To have a company policy on protecting children from harm including protecting children from exposure to gambling, drugs, drug taking and drug dealing, and violence of any sort
  • To have a company policy which outlines how children will be protected from exposure to entertainment of an adult or sexual nature and the method of enforcing age specific conditions when showing films with a BBFC rating.
  • Provide details on restrictions on the access by children to the whole or any part of the premises, including times when children may not be present.
  • Outline arrangements to prevent the sale to and consumption of alcohol by underage children and e.g.
    • A challenge 25 policy will be operated at the premises; forms of identification that will be accepted are a valid passport, photo card driving licence, HM Forces identity card and a PASS accredited identification card.
    • Signs placed in prominent positions at the entrance to the premises and the bar which explain no sales of alcohol to those underage and challenge 25 is in force.
    • Keep records evidencing the nominated persons supervising children have undertaken local authority training in safeguarding principals and where necessary have obtained a disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service.
    • Have a code of conduct to promote good safeguarding when deliveries (eg of hot food) are made to unaccompanied children
    • Have a policy to monitor all areas of the premises eg by use of CCTV or regular patrols, and other appropriate systems.

What else should be considered?

Children taking part in performances: There are many productions taking place where the cast includes children of all ages. They may be taking part as individuals or as part of a drama club, stage or dance school or school group. The Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014, set out requirements to safeguarding children performing in a show.

Aspects which should be considered to protect children from harm when taking part in performances are:

Care of children – theatres, concert halls and similar places are places of work and may contain potentially dangerous equipment. It is therefore important that children performing at such premises are kept under adult supervision (usually by local authority registered chaperone) at all times including transfer from stage to dressing room and anywhere else on the premises as detailed in the Children (Performances and Activities)(England) Regulations 2014. It is also important that the children can be accounted for at all times in case of an evacuation or emergency.

Venue – the backstage facilities should be large enough to accommodate safely the number of children taking part in any performance.

Further information is available on guidance on children and young people in employment or entertainment or by contacting the Surrey County Council Child Employment Team in advance of the performance. Tel: 01483 517838 or email: childemployment@surreycc.gov.uk

Further advices and resources are available at:

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