Report a problem, or make a query about, a licence holder or licensed premise

See also:

Who should I report the problem to?

Licensed businesses in the course of their operation can occasionally cause and experience problems.

On occasions that problems are occurring the public, residents and businesses can make enquiries or report issues to the:

  • Relevant Licensing Authority - Adur District Council or Worthing Borough Council
  • Responsible Authorities - one of the authorities such as the Environmental Protection Group if there are, for example, noise issues
  • Sussex Police - if the concerns relate to illegal activity

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Make a licensing complaint to Adur & Worthing Councils

If problems involve a licence holder, a licensed business or licensable activities complaints can be made directly to the relevant Licensing Authority (in this case Adur District Council or Worthing Borough Council). Officers of the Licensing Unit will try, if circumstances make it appropriate, to resolve the issues informally.

You can make a complaint regarding a licensed premise or regarding activities that should be licensed to the Licensing Unit. Licensing officers will:

  • Investigate your complaint and respond to your enquiry; or
  • Pass it on to the most appropriate responsible authority to investigate

When making your complaint, please try to provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your contact details
  • The premises name and address
  • As much information about the incident/issues as possible

Please note that your details will not be passed to the licensee/business without your prior consent.

Who to make the complaint to

  • Business hours: Contact the Licensing Unit
  • Outside business hours and at weekends: Contact the Environmental Protection Group on 01903 821992

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Licensing Authorities have a number of powers and duties which are exercised in the general field of licensing. Adur & Worthing Councils recognise the value of business as the lifeblood of both areas and wish to be as helpful as possible in assisting businesses to operate effectively and efficiently within the law whilst causing as little disturbance to residents and the public as possible. Officers will seek to ensure a fair and consistent approach to all parties.

In coming to any enforcement decisions officers and responsible authorities will give consideration to the following factors:

  • Seriousness of the issue
  • Whether an offence has been committed
  • Past history of compliance
  • Confidence in management
  • Consequences of non-compliance
  • Likely effectiveness of the various enforcement options

Depending on the form of licence the enforcement options may include:

  • No action
  • Informal action
  • Prosecution
  • Simple cautions
  • Refuse to renew a licence
  • Review a licence
  • Revoke a licence

Only in relation to trivial matters will 'no action' be the chosen option.

Under the Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005 the responsible authorities and members of the public can apply for a review of a premises licence if problems are on going and/or serious and relate to one or more of the licensing objectives.

 Public Health & Regulation Enforcement

The Public Health & Regulation's Licensing Team administers and determines applications for licences, permits and registrations required by individuals and business to authorise the provision of licensable activities on behalf of the councils. Including such activities as the supply and sale of alcohol, provision of regulated entertainment, sale of late night refreshment, gambling & lotteries, hackney carriages & private hire, street trading, sex establishments, animal licensing, scrap metal dealers and charitable collections.

Officers investigate any possible breaches of licensing legislation taking the appropriate enforcement action to ensure compliance with that legislation and the terms of individual licences and permits.

This document details the process all officers will use when deciding what action to take when carrying out their statutory duties on behalf of the Public Health & Regulation (PH&R) team. It should be read in association with the documents referred to within it.

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Page last updated: 23 November 2020