A police officer of at least the rank of inspector, or the local authority, may issue a closure notice if satisfied on reasonable grounds that the use of the particular premises has resulted or is likely soon to result in nuisance to members of the public, or that there has been or 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 prohibits access to the premises for a period specified in the notice and may prohibit access by all persons except those specified, at all times and in all circumstances (or those specified).
Whenever a closure notice is issued an application can be made to a magistrates’ court for a closure order. This can be made by a constable or the local authority and must be heard by the magistrates’ court not later than 48 hours after service of the closure notice. A closure order can be for up to 3 months.
A closure notice can be used to close a nightclub where the police have intelligence to suggest that disorder is likely in the local area on a specific Friday night. A closure order could also be used for a house used for drug dealing or to close a house whose residents are the cause of serious anti-social behaviour (eg. frequent loud parties, harassment and intimidation of neighbours) in the local area.
Our Original Analysis when it became Law
The Closure Notice/Order replaces the Premises Closure Order, Crack House Closure Order, Noisy Premises Closure Order, and Section 161 Closure Order. As such, the ability to close a premises should be more straightforward, without needing to know the different rules for each type of problem occurring in a premises. It is hoped that this will bring much quicker relief and protection for victims of persistent anti-social behaviour linked to a specific property.
In contrast to the Orders that this is replacing the Closure Notice can be applied for before the disturbance has even happened. This will enable the Police to prevent a rave occurring and a place can be closed for 48 hours without needing to go to Court to get permission first. We believe this will assist agencies in being more proactive to prevent disturbance and protect victims.