Licensing enforcement

Routine checks and responding to your complaints

Visiting Premises

Some of the enforcement is carried out routinely, and some is in response to a complaint or because of information we have received from the public.

Most enforcement activity is centred around alcohol licensed premises (There are nearly 350 premises licences/club premises certificates and 600 personal licences in Pendle).

In order to enforce the law regular visits (day and night) are conducted with the Police Licensing Officers and the Community Beat Managers from Nelson, Colne and West Craven to licensed premises.

During these visits we are looking for compliance with the licensing laws and any extra conditions that are attached to the premises' licence. In addition, we ensure that the premises are being run correctly and investigate any reports of under age drinking, drug misuse and the general behaviour of the customers frequenting the pubs and clubs. Details of door supervisors are also checked to ensure they, as well as the premises employing them, are working within the current laws

Under-age Alcohol Sales

We also accompany the Police on test purchasing operations at off-licensed premises in the borough. This involves sending an under age youth into a shop in order to purchase alcohol.

What Happens if There's a Problem?

In the first eight months of 2012 a total of 36 off licensed premises were test purchased with all 36 passing.

In 2010 one premises had its licence reviewed for failing three test purchase operations and as a result the licence was suspended for three months with several stringent conditions added to it. The same premises again failed the following year and in addition the premises licence holder had all the alcohol in his shop seized by the Police for not complying with the conditions attached to the premises licence. Since this latest incident he has surrendered the premises licence and is therefore no longer authorised to sell alcohol at the shop.

Contraband Alcohol and Tobacco

Joint enforcement is also carried out with officers from our Environmental Health Service, Lancashire County Council's Trading Standards, the Security Industry Authority and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

We pay particular attention to contraband alcohol and tobacco, although tobacco legislation is enforced by Lancashire County Council's Trading Standards, not ourselves.

Visit Lancashire County Council's Trading Standards Website.


We are also responsible for making sure that businesses don't break the law about gambling and betting.

Visits to premises that have gaming machines and also sell alcohol often mean that checks are carried out both at once. For example, while visiting a pub or a club, we would check how many gaming machines a premises has and whether or not they have the correct signage displayed.