Closure Notice/Order

 

The closure power is a fast, flexible power that can be used to protect victims and communities by quickly closing premises that are causing nuisance or disorder.

Applying Authorities are: The local Council, and the Police. The process has two stages – the closure notice and the closure order. The new power consolidates various existing closure powers relating to licensed and non-licensed premises which are causing, or are likely to cause, anti-social behaviour.  The Closure Notice and Closure Order are both.

Closure Notice

 

The Police (an officer of no lower rank thank Inspector for 24 hour notice or Superintendant for 48 hour notice) or a Council Officer (of no lower position than Chief Executive or designate thereof) can issue a closure notice if they are satisfied on reasonable grounds: that the use of particular premises has resulted, or (if the notice is not issued) is likely soon to result, in nuisance to members of the public; or that there has been, or (if the notice is not issued) is likely soon to be, disorder near those premises associated with the use of those premises, and that the notice is necessary to prevent the nuisance or disorder from continuing, recurring or occurring

A closure notice can prohibit people from accessing the premises, but cannot prohibit the premises owner or anyone who habitually lives at the premises from accessing it.  Once a closure notice has been served the recipients and applying authority have 48 hours to make representations to the magistrates court for and against a Closure Order.  It is a criminal offence for anyone apart from these people to access the premises without reasonable excuse (see below for the possible sentencing for a breach of Closure Notice).

Closure Order

 

After the Closure Notice is served both the recipient of the notice and applying authority will appear before the Magistrates Court to make representations.  The applying authority will ask the court to make an order to close the offending premises for up to 3 months maximum.  A short term order could also be considered by the court for up to 14 days, once this period is finished an extension could be applied for should it be needed.

Should the court grant the Closure Order the premises will then be closed and for the duration of the closure order, only authorised persons can enter the premises. For example, a maintenance person could enter to service a boiler or fix a leak.  It is a criminal offence for any other person to access the premises without reasonable excuse.

Breaches of Closure Notices and Closure orders

 

Breach of a Closure Notice can result in an unlimited fine and up to 3 months imprisonment.

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