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Complaining about alcohol and entertainment licensing issues

Crime and disorder

If you have any problems related to vandalism, drunken behaviour, violence or drugs you should report them to Suffolk Police. If there is an immediate threat to your own or others’ safety you should dial 999, otherwise you should ring the police on their non-emergency number 101 or 01473 613500.

Anti-Social behaviour - you should dial 999 if life is threatened, people are injured or there is a crime in progress and an immediate police response is necessary. If the offence has happened and the offender is no longer present, call the police on 101 or 01473 613500 or contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.

If you are a victim of anti-social behaviour you can contact our Community Safety Team.

Public safety

Has your safety or the safety of others been put at risk on a licensed premises or as the result of licensed activity? For example, were trailing wires causing a trip hazard in the premises? If so you should contact our Food and Safety Team.

Are your concerns are about fire safety. For example, was a fire escape blocked? If so you should contact Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service on 01473 260588.

Public nuisance

Nuisance such as noise, smells or light pollution should be reported to our Environmental Protection Team.

The Environmental Protection Team can only deal with complaints about noise arising from licensed premises (including beer gardens, etc). The team cannot deal with complaints about noise in the street caused by people or traffic leaving a premises, or customers gathering outside. If you are concerned about rowdiness in the street, please see the section above about crime and disorder.

Protection of children

Under age sales of alcohol - have you seen under age sales of alcohol taking place or do you think they may be happening? If so, you should either ring the police on 101 or 01473 613500 or Trading Standards on 01473 264859 or email tradingstandards@suffolk.gov.uk.

Adult entertainment - some entertainment that occurs on licensed premises may be unsuitable for children. If you see children being exposed to unsuitable entertainment (e.g. entertainment of a sexual or violent nature) you should call the police on 101 or 01473 613500, or if there is an immediate threat to a child’s well being or safety because of the situation you should dial 999.

Issues not directly related to the licensing objectives

Often the councils' Licensing Team will take the lead in investigating a problem. Typically this will be when the problem relates to unlicensed activities - for example, if music is being played later than is allowed, or if alcohol is being supplied to customers after closing time. We may also take the lead if you have concerns about a licensee’s conduct or behaviour.

Details of the opening hours and permitted activities of licensed premises can be found on Suffolk Coastal's public register of premises licences.

How to resolve a problem

If you have a problem with a licensed premises or licence holder please follow these three steps:

Step 1 - talk to the licensee or brewery

Our experience shows that early contact with licence holders means that problems can be sorted out quickly. We are encouraging all licence holders to listen to the concerns of local residents. In turn we would encourage you to first inform the licence holder so that they are aware of the problem. Try and give the licence holder as much detail as possible, e.g. if it is a noise complaint, the days, times and type of noise that is the problem.

Please note that we only encourage you to discuss a problem directly with a licence holder if you feel safe and comfortable doing so.

Step 2 - monitor the situation

If you have spoken to the license holder, wait to see if things improve. Keep a note of the date and time if the problem happens again including a description of the problem and how it affects you.

Step 3 - report the problem

If there is no improvement, or if you wish to report the problem straight away, make contact with the relevant team and give them as much detail as possible.

At any stage, following the grant of a premises licence or club premises certificate, a responsible authority, or any other person, may ask the licensing authority to review the licence or certificate because of a matter arising at the premises in connection with any of the four licensing objectives:

  • The Prevention of Crime and Disorder
  • Public Safety
  • The Prevention of Public Nuisance
  • The Protection of Children from Harm

In every case, any application for a review must relate to particular premises in respect of which there is a premises licence or club premises certificate and must be relevant to the promotion of one or more of the licensing objectives.