News Blog

Creating a Safe Learning Environment - Covid-19 Pandemic

We are now delivering face to face BIIAB Level 2 Personal Licence courses in London, with additional precautions in place to ensure the safety of those attending.

We had stopped delivering face to face training before the ‘lockdown’ was enforced by the UK government following our own risk assessment; ever since we have been working towards a position where we can safely start face to face training again, however we will only do so once we are satisfied that the risk...


Covid-19 Course Bookings T&Cs

Due to the current Covid-19 Pandemic we have had to stop delivering face to face training for now, but we are ready to restart as soon as we are permitted and as soon as it is safe to do so. I would like to take this opportunity to explain the special measures we have in place to protect your booking, during this period of uncertainty.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected many businesses and like so many especially in the licensed hospitality sector, we lost most...


98.1% Pass Rate for BIIAB Courses

Beyond the Blue Approved by BIIABThroughout 2018 Beyond the Blue Training & Consultancy achieved a 98.1% pass rate for all learners who attended BIIAB accredited training courses which we delivered.

Having just reviewed all of the data from the past year (2018) we are delighted to announce that we...


99.8% Pass Rate for BIIAB Courses

Throughout 2016 Beyond the Blue Training & Consultancy achieved a 99.8% pass rate for all learners who attended BIIAB accredited training courses which we delivered.

Having just reviewed all of the data from the past year (2016) we are delighted to announce that we have maintained (and slightly improved) our consistently high pass rate for...


Minimum Unit Price for Alcohol in Scotland

After 5 years of legal challenge the Supreme Court ruling today has paved the way for the Scottish Government to Introduce a Minimum Price per Unit of 50p.

There has been much discussion today about who the winners and losers will be, the general consensus is that people on low incomes will be disproportionately hit,...


Media - Bridal Buyer Article 31st August 2017

We were contacted by Zoe Burke from today for our expert opinion on the particulars when it comes to giving away ‘free alcohol’; in this case in association with bridal shops and their associated services.



New Limits for TENs in 2016

TENNew limits on the number of Temporary Events Notices (TENs) which can be held each year have been introduced from the 1st January 2016.

15 Temporary Events Notices per Year

As part of the Deregulation Bill the government have increased the number of permitted temporary events...


98.1% Pass Rate for BIIAB Courses

Beyond the Blue Training

Throughout 2015 Beyond the Blue Training & Consultancy achieved a 98.1% pass rate for all learners who attended BIIAB accredited training courses which we delivered.

Having just reviewed all of the data from the past year (2015) we are delighted to announce that we have maintained our consistently high...


Unlimited Fines for Licensing Offences Introduced

The potential fines for some licensing offences have changed under the ‘Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012’ which came into effect on 11th March 2015.

Unlimited Fine

The new legislation effectively replaces the previous Level 5 penalty which was...


98.3% Pass Rate for BIIAB Courses

Throughout 2014 Beyond the Blue Training & Consultancy achieved a 98.3% pass rate for all learners who attended BIIAB accredited training courses which we delivered.

Having just reviewed all of the data from the past year (2014) we are delighted to announce that we have maintained our consistently high pass rate for BIIAB qualifications.

For more details on our exceptionally high examination pass rates please visit...


An Age Verification Policy Must be in Place

Licensing Law NewsIn our second in the series of articles explaining the impact of the Mandatory Conditions (Amendment) Order 2014 which will took effect from 1st October 2014, we will examine the requirement for every premises to implement an Age Verification Policy.



Mandatory Licensing Conditions (Amendment) Order 2014

Having only just introduced a new Mandatory Condition in respect of the Permitted Price, the government have now sprung a revised set of Mandatory Conditions on Licensed Hospitality Industry which will take effect from 1st October 2014.

Introduced as an amendment to existing legislation, the revised Mandatory Conditions...


New Mandatory Condition for 2014

The Secretary of State has approved the introduction of a new Mandatory Condition which will, in effect, ban the sale of alcohol below what has been referred to as ‘cost price’.

In reality the new legislation, which is the greatest possible dilution of the ‘minimum price per unit’, doesn’t even go that far. It only bans the...


FIFA World Cup 2014 – Licensing Hours

The government has approved the Licensing Act 2003 (FIFA World Cup Licensing Hours) Order 2014, which allows licensed premises in England to open later on match days without the need to apply for a Temporary Events Notice (TEN) to show England World Cup Matches.

Please note this legislation does not apply to Wales; although after coming under some pressure the government has agreed not to charge licensed premises in Wales for any TEN given in relation to...


Islington Council Introduce Late Night Levy

Islington Council Licensing Authority have decided to introduce a Late Night Levy (LNL) which will take effect from September 2014.

This Late Night Levy, the first to be introduced in London, was agreed at the council meeting last week. This is the third such policy to be introduced in England and follows in the footsteps of Cheltenham and...


98.5% Pass Rate for BIIAB Courses

In 2013 Beyond the Blue Training & Consultancy achieved a 98.5% Pass Rate for all learners who attended BIIAB accredited training courses which we delivered.

Having just reviewed all of the data from the past year (2013) we were delighted to announce that we have maintained our consistently high pass rate for BIIAB...


Strengthening of Mandatory Licensing Conditions

The government have published their alcohol strategy response to the consultation on minimum pricing for units of alcohol and much as anticipated, they have backed down at this stage from the introduction of a minimum price per unit.

They have also backed down from banning multi-pack promotions which would have prevented the most aggressive alcohol promotions in supermarkets.

We feel that a minimum price per unit would have been good for almost all...


Description of Entertainment (Amendment) Order 2013

The Home office has now released the amended guidance to the Licensing Act which includes the details of the new Description of Entertainment (Amendment) Order 2013.

This Order provides for further exceptions to Regulated Entertainment and one new addition.

These exceptions will be of some benefit to Premises Licences holders...


Fully Funded (FREE) Award in Responsible Alcohol Retailing Training

The SABMiller Scholars Programme allows us to offer a limited number of FREE places on the BIIAB Level 1 Award in Responsible Alcohol Retailing >>

This is a rare opportunity to get employees trained for FREE in this...


The Advantage of Licensing Consultants

Many licensed businesses use legal representation (solicitors, lawyers or barristers) for their licensing processes; premises licence applications, variations, transfers or representation at review hearings. These businesses miss out on the advantages which can be gained through the use of effective professional licensing...


Minimum Price per Unit U-turn will Cost Responsible Drinkers

There was no denial from David Cameron in the House of Commons today during Prime Minister’s Questions, when asked if the government was abandoning their Minimum Price per Unit of Alcohol Plan.

This article is not a political commentary, but frankly anyone watching the exchanges in the Commons will have been able to see that political points scoring was top of the agenda. Neither the people who need intervention because of alcohol addiction, nor the many tens...


Is the Alcohol Units System Broken?

A recent study demonstrated that the quantity of alcohol consumed by people in the UK is under reported by almost half; that is to say that the difference between what people say they drink and the quantity of alcohol sold, varies considerably.

This will not come as great shock to people working in the licensed hospitality...


98.5% Pass Rate for BIIAB Courses

In 2012 Beyond the Blue Training & Consultancy achieved a 98.5% pass rate for all learners who attended BIIAB accredited training courses which they delivered.

Having just reviewed all of the data from the past year (2012) we were delighted to announce that we have maintained our consistently high pass rate for BIIAB qualifications.

For more details on our exceptionally high examination pass rates please visit...


Smoke Free ‘Signs’ Regulation 2012

New legislation has been introduced in England to relax the regulation regarding the number of ‘No Smoking’ signs required in substantially enclosed public places.

The Smoke Free ‘Signs’ Regulation 2012 changes the previous requirement for there to be a No Smoking sign displayed throughout a substantially enclosed public place, so that one can be...


Whisky or Apple Juice?

Frankie & Benny’s in Swansea made a potentially fatal mistake when a toddler was served with whiskey instead of the apple juice he had ordered. It was only the awareness of the toddler’s parents which stopped a bad situation, becoming a potentially very serious one.

I’m sure this was an accident rather than anything intentional, but the consequences of this mistake have led to a young child requiring hospital treatment.

Now I am the first to...


The Live Music Act 2012

From October Live Music will no longer require a licence if it is for an audience of under 200 people when amplified or for an audience of any size when unamplified. Those are the headline; here are the details…

The purpose of the Live Music Act 2012 was to deregulate live music for smaller venues and thus encourage more variety and enable more premises to provide opportunities to up-and-coming artists.

The 2012 Live Music Act does not deregulate...


Liquid Nitrogen & the Bar Industry

A warning to all those using liquid nitrogen in the hospitality sector, especially where it is being used in cocktails; you should perform a new and vigorous risk-assessment. All employees who permitted to handle liquid nitrogen must be given the appropriate levels of training and sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE).

Until such time as a new risk-...


Free Alcohol - No Premises Licence Required

A bar owner has proclaimed that he doesn’t need a licence as he ‘gives alcohol away for free’, rather than sells it.

Simon Atkinson has declared his idea a ‘retail revolution’, which he intends to rapidly expand, growing the ‘Innsatiable’ brand to some 20 outlets in the next two years.

The idea, as I understand it, is that the premises is essentially a furniture...


Is Promoting Alcohol Legal?

There is still much confusion about what type of alcohol promotion is legal and what would be deemed irresponsible; the confusion is not limited to premises licence holders, there is also a lack of clarity and consistency amongst local authorities and the police.

The law on alcohol promotion was meant to be...


Springsteen and McCartney Gig Shut Down

Bruce Springsteen headlined the Hard Rock Calling Hyde Park Festival on Saturday night, only to be cut off before the concert had come to an end; as far as he was concerned.

After over three hours captivating the 100,000+ audience with renditions of his hits spanning five decades, ‘The Boss’ had one final surprise up his sleeve, as he welcomed...


Olympic Security - G4S Call in the Police & HM Armed Forces

Not being a politician, affiliated with G4S or an Olympian (yet…), this case was of interest to me because it demonstrates some fundamental problem with the private security industry and accredited training.

10,000 security staff were expected to be provided by G4S for the Olympics, at a cost to the tax payer of almost £300m; even with very crude maths we can therefore deduce that the cost of providing each of these guards was to be nearly £30,000.

I accept...


Food Hygiene Standards Must Meet Olympic Standards

With several of the biggest names including KFC and Tesco having fallen short of the minimum standards for Food Safety in high profile cases recently, the authorities in London are taking no chances during this summer’s Olympic Games in London.

The environmental health departments of several local authorities, as well as the Food Standards Agency have...


‘Legal Highs’ Desirable, Dangerous and Misunderstood

‘Legal Highs’ hit the headlines again recently following the death of a festival goer in Scotland who was suspected of having taken drugs and several other who were taken to hospital for treatment after having taken so called ‘legal highs’.

I could add a blog entry almost every week on this subject and the latest casualty following drug use, both illegal and so called ‘legal drugs’.

Mexxy Banned

The government recently used it new...


Beyond the Blue in Parliament Presentation

Beyond the Blue Training & Consultancy were pleased to be able to invite Gemma King, one of our candidates from the SABMiller Scholarship Programme, to the presentation ceremony held in the Houses of Parliament.

Gemma, a duty manager at Royal Holloway University of London Students’ Union, was selected from all of the candidates who attended our BIIAB...


‘Live Music from 4am’ Causes Confusion

Licensing Officers and the Police descended on a pub in Surrey after being notified of a poster advertising ‘Live Music from 4am’.

To the consternation of the licence holder Kate Dillon, they had interpreted the advertising literally and assumed that there was going to be live music happening after 4am; rather than a band with name ‘4am’ playing at a more reasonable time in the evening.

The licensee has claimed to be angry and then rather ungraciously...


£3.40 Jug of Tap Water

Placing a charge on tap water is illegal in licensed premises, under the Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) Order 2010. The mandatory condition states that ‘Free potable tap water must be provided for customers’.

Failure to adhere to a mandatory condition would be considered an Unauthorised Licensable Activity and subject to a maximum penalty of a £20,000...


New London Training Facility

We are pleased to announce that we now have a new first class training facility in central London.

From the beginning of May 2012 most of our open courses will be delivered at our new training venue in central London.

This facility is specifically designed as a training venue for Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust and we are very proud to...


Changes to Temporary Event Notices (TEN)

This week saw changes to Temporary Event Notice (TEN) rules and the application procedures with the introduction of the Police Crime and Reform Act 2011 on 25th April 2012.

The act introduces fundamental changes to the Temporary Event Notice (TEN) process; some of the changes will be good for users of TENs and some less so. A summary of the...


Will poor security training undermine the 2012 London Olympics

Over the last few weeks there has been a row brewing between the Olympic security providers and photographers regarding the rights to photograph in and around the Olympic event spaces.

The argument has really come down to where people can take photographs and where such activities are restricted.

The answer to those questions is not a complicated one, if you are in a...


Alcohol Strategy Introduces a Min. Unit Price of 40p

The government have published their long awaited Alcohol Strategy paper outlining how they intend to reduce the negative impact alcohol has on communities across the UK.

The paper doesn’t contain many real surprises, although now we have some more of the detail.

The headline grabbing policy is the proposed introduction of a minimum price...


Extended Licensing Hours for Diamond Jubilee

Licensed premises will be entitled to extend their hours for the weekend of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The order applies to premises where alcohol is sold for consumption on the premises (i.e. not shops and supermarkets) and will allow those premises which are currently allowed to be open until 23.00 or later to open:


  • Friday 1st June 2012        from 23.00 to 01.00 (Saturday 2nd June 2012)
  • ...


Big Changes to Licensing Law in April 2012

Most of the measures set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act will come into force in the first week in April.

This will affect a number of different areas of Licensing Law:


  • The Environmental Health Officers will have the right to make representations against Temporary Event Notices (T.E.N.) alongside the police and...


Sobriety Orders to Tackle Alcohol Related Crime & Disorder

The government is planning to trial Sobriety Orders in an attempt to reduce alcohol related crime and disorder, especially from persistent offenders.

The idea, which originated in the USA, is another tool the courts can use to fight the negative impact of alcohol on our communities. This trial should be welcomed and it is a sign of positive progress that the government is taking measures to hold individuals accountable for their actions, alongside the powers they...


MP Given Exclusion Order

In another blow to the Licensed Hospitality sector, MP Eric Joyce has been told he has to stay out of pubs for three months…. another valuable customer lost…

After starting a brawl in the Stranger’s bar, in the House of Commons, following the serious provocation of there being ‘too many Conservative MPs in the bar’, the ultra-sarcastic side of my personality can not resist pointing out, that at this moment in time, he is going to find himself outnumbered by Tories...


Operation Condor Targets 4800 London Premises

The Metropolitan Police launched one of their biggest operations of 2012 and one of the single largest co-ordinated operations ever launched to tackle unlicensed activities across London.

During the operation they visited nearly 5000 licensed premises, including bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, off-licenses and shops, to carry out licensing inspections, test purchase...


Can David Cameron Really Tackle the ‘Binge Drinking Scandal’

David Cameron has vowed to tackle the many problems associated with alcohol consumption throughout the country, including, as he put it, the ‘scandal of binge drinking’; but when so many Prime Ministers have tried before him, is this anything new or just a diversionary political tactic?

The problem with his proposed solutions is that they are no different from what has been tried before, there is no imagination or innovation in the approach and the major flaw is...


Weights & Measures

Since publishing our recent news article on the amendment to the Weights & Measures (Intoxicating Liquor) Order 1988 which deals with Wine Samples, we have received a number of more general enquiries from our clients in relation to...


‘Service’ defines ‘Brand’

I’m often asked ‘would you have to be brave to start a business in this ‘declining market’?’

The answer is a resounding No; the caveat is, providing you understand that sectors change and only those who drive that change or ride its crest will enjoy the success.

The key is to know your market and develop a realistic business plan; research the location carefully...


Deregulation under the Live Music Act 2011

A partial deregulation of live music has passed its latest regulatory hurdle, having been cleared in the House of Commons.

The private members bill introduced by Lord Clement Jones and presented to the Commons by Don Foster MP seeks to ease the red tape involved in putting on live music under certain circumstances.

The motivation for this private...


Is alcohol the real problem in our society?

Alcohol is perpetually used as an excuse both by authorities and users for the poor behaviour which leads to so many significant problems in our society; the greater question should possibly be to ask if it is not our society, communities and our culture which is actually to blame.

I recently read a very interesting article written by social anthropologist Kate Fox (see below for the link). She argues that the various myths and misinformation surrounding alcohol,...


London is home to half of the world’s top ten bars

Five of the world’s best bars are located in the heart of our great Olympic city and there are many more which feature on the full list of the top 50. Having five of the top ten bars listed, located in London is a real coup for the city.

The Drinks International poll of experts listed the top ten as:

  1. Please Don’t Tell – New York
  2. Connaught – London
  3. Artesian – London
  4. Death & Co – New York
  5. Milk & Honey – London...


New ‘Sampling’ Measures of Wine Permitted

The law is full of odd little anomalies and it often takes one sensible determined individual to point out the stupidity of such things, before a long drawn out process of rebalancing the law with common sense can start.

This was the case when Dawn Davies, the Sommelier at Selfridges in London, was confronted by council officers for selling wine in sample measures not defined by the Weights & Measures (Intoxicating Liquor) Order 1988 in relation to wine.



Assaults on ticket inspectors highlighted by stabbing on C2C train

The potential danger of some workplaces has again been highlighted by two high profile instances within a week, of ticket inspectors on trains being assaulted.

The first in Scotland received over 2 million hits on YouTube and although there is no evidence of physical assault by the passenger, the video provides a suggestion of the verbal tirade he had to endure from the passenger before the rather unfortunate ‘dubious’ intervention of a passenger. To view the video...


Sheffield University ‘Irresponsible’ promotion puts licence at risk

The Mandatory Condition of ‘Irresponsible Promotions’ has been the subject of a lot of discussion over the last year, specifically over compliance issues and how enforceable the condition is.

We have been advising our clients to be wary of the suggestion that this Mandatory Condition is not enforceable and thus can be ignored; our opinion being that although there are...


FREE Award in Responsible Alcohol Retailing (ARAR) Course

SABMillerWe have secured funding from SABMiller for a limited number of BIIAB Level 1 Award in Responsible Retailing courses running in the second week of December 2011. This means there are a...


92 year old asked for ID to buy alcohol

A 92 year old lady was refused service because she couldn’t prove she was over the age of 18 with the correct form of ID.

The papers love these headline grabbing page filling stories, they give them the ideal chance to mock all concerned. The problem is they chastise when people get it wrong and the mock when people get it right; wouldn’t it be nice if every so often, we encouraged those who do get it right.

I’m not familiar with the details of this...


Sir Richard Branson Observes Beyond the Blue in Action

Sir Richard Branson at Beyond the BlueThe Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson took time out of his busy schedule to speak with some of his team who were attending a course with us at Beyond the Blue.

The inspirational entrepreneur demonstrated again why working for...


Islington Bans Nuisance Drinkers

Controlled Drinking Zones are a useful tool in the armoury of councils and the police in dealing with those people who choose to cause a nuisance or disorder in local communities.

The effect of CDZ’s tends to be somewhat exaggerated in some media channels and providing enforcement is both effective and proportionate, they should have no impact on the vast majority of...


New Pricing for Conflict Management Training

Beyond the BlueWe have reviewed our pricing structures to make training more accessible to more people.

We have always tried to find a balance between offering value for money and maintaining the quality of our training and services. Following a review of pricing structure for...


Beyond the Blue Maintains 'BIIAB Grade 1' Approved Status

BIIABThe BIIAB describe Grade 1 as ‘demonstrating outstanding quality procedures’, something we are very committed to.

We completed our annual approval process with the BIIAB today and once again Beyond the Blue Training & Consultancy was proven to have amongst the best quality assurance...


‘Stabbing Burglars; Not a Criminal Offence’– Ken Clarke

Headlines are not law. Reading into the latest sweeping statement from Ken Clarke regarding the right to defend oneself and ones property, the perception is given that stabbing an intruder, hitting them over the head with a spade or any other form of ‘self defence’ which results in serious injury or fatality will be clear cut and legal.

It rather opens the door to more of a vigilante culture, one where people exert ‘punishment’, rather than the courts.

Now I...


10% Discount Extended on Personal Licence / APLH Courses

10% Off Personal Licence CourseWe are offering a 10% discount for the BIIAB Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders Course / APLH Course. This is the prescribed course for anyone...


It's all bad news for pubs; or is it?

We hear it everywhere, pubs closing down at the rate of 30-40 a week, revenue decreases against rent increases, doom, gloom, insolvency, negativity and horror.

Running a pub used to be seen as an easy way to make a comfortable income, the easy route to success; people used to look at the sector as a licence to print money, while enjoying the ‘pub landlord / landlady lifestyle’.

If that was a misrepresentation 10 years ago, it is most certainly a...


Liquor liability trial in Ireland - A lesson for all

The death of a British man in Ireland in 2008 has led to the first prosecution under Ireland’s ‘liquor liability’ law. 

The case is still pending with both defendants pleading not guilty.

Whatever the outcome of such a case, the tragedy is that a young man (Graham Parish - 26) is another victim of excessive consumption of alcohol; and this is a case which is sadly far from unique.

The facts of the case are still emerging, what does seem clear is that...


Licensing Hours Relaxed for Royal Wedding

licensing hours orderLicensed premises in England and Wales will be permitted to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises until 01.00 to celebrate the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

In practice this means that premises whose usual licensing hours for the...


A Guide to Dealing with Fake ID & Counterfeit ID

Home Office False ID Guidance

The problems licensed premises face from the use of fake, false, counterfeit and passed-off ID are significant and when employees don’t spot the use of such document for the purchase of an age restricted product, the penalties can be significant.

As we...


Thousands are 'at risk of alcohol death' say doctors

This report is yet another high level intervention from health care professionals in relation to the harm caused by alcohol in the UK.

The headline figure of 250,000 deaths from alcohol related illness and accidents predicted over the next 20 years, is naturally a worst-case scenario delivered to grab the headlines.

As I have repeatedly outlined in similar articles, the solutions to alcohol related problems are going to demand a more imaginative solution...


Sky & ESPN face EU challenge to pay-tv monopoly in pubs

EU challenge Premier League Broadcast RightsThe Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has issued a non-binding opinion that ‘the exclusivity agreement relating to transmission of [Premier League] football matches contravenes European Union laws’.

It should be pointed out that at this stage it is...


Seven injured in attack by patient at Newham hospital

The NHS is always a hot topic, whether it is funding, the level of care given or waiting lists they are never far from the top of the news bulletins.

But for those working on the front line it can at times seem like a thankless task, long hours, difficult conditions, limited facilities and the constant threat of verbal and physical attack.

Some time ago the government made it mandatory for all front line staff working in the NHS to receive Conflict...


10% Discount on our NCPLH Course / Personal Licence Course

Any NCPLH course / personal licence course booked during the January, February and March 2011 will be offered a 10% discount. This is being done as part of our ‘Offset the VAT Increase’ Promotion.

Offset the VAT Promotion...


The Award for Personal Licence Holders / APLH to replace the NCPLH

From 1st April 2011 the BIIAB National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders /...


Do Caffeine & Alcohol Mix?

There is a debate going on around the world between governments, health officials, drinks manufactures, retailers and consumers as to the relative merits of mixing caffeine or stimulant drinks and alcohol; and it’s an area where health bodies and governments are having some ‘success’ in legislating.

Most recently the US has banned all packaged drinks which mix the two, making them very unpopular amongst the college crowd, where these types of drinks were a favoured...


Working in Partnership Pays – Bath, Somerset

Purple Flag awarded to BathIt is a theme we come back to again and again during courses and consultancy work, working in partnership pays for everyone who has an effective business plan; those business owners who take a long term view of their business.

When asked which side of the fence we sit on, the local...


Home Office Response to the Consultation: Rebalancing the Licensing Act

Rebalancing the Licensing ActThe government’s promise to ‘Overhaul the Licensing Act’ has now been published by the Home Office. Many of the changes we warned about in our last news-blog entry on this subject (...


Mephedrone / Meow Meow

The debate amongst scientist, the police, government and users, regarding the relative dangers of Mephedrone, or Meow Meow as it commonly referred to, rumbles on and on.

In the case of Benjamin Walters and Lindsey Wilson who both died after the same party, the coroner returned a verdict of death by misadventure. It seems that in this case Meow Meow was combined with Morphine which resulted in the sad death of these two young people.

There has been some...


Mephedrone Ban Blamed for Rise in Cocaine Deaths

Cocaine LeagueIt is a very odd to look at drug use and the harm from drugs, by comparing the rise in the use of a relatively new drug in the form of Mephedrone, where relatively few reliable statistics exist and the fall in the level of deaths from Cocaine.

This report suggests that the fall in Cocaine deaths from to 66...


The Dangers of Large Festival Crowds – Over 370 Die in Cambodia

Over 370 people were crushed to death when part of a dense crowd panicked during Cambodia’s water festival.

Festivals in every corner of the world attract people in great numbers, including the UK; anywhere large crowds gather there is inherent danger.

The management of large crowds is a very complicated science, studied by security specialist, academics and crowd management professionals over life-times. The world biggest events such as the Hajj in Saudi...


10% Discount on all NCPLH / Personal Licence Courses

NCPLH DiscountFor all NCPLH courses booked in November & December 2010 either in London, Twickenham or for In-House groups we are offering a 10% discount to existing and new clients.

This mean you can now get...


The Award for Personal Licence Holders / APLH New for 2011

Award for Personal Licence Holders APLHFrom 1st January 2011 the BIIAB National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders / NCPLH will be replaced by the BIIAB Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders /...


Praise for Street Pastors

Street PastorsI wanted to add my voice to the praise offered to street pastors, not just in Kingston, but in towns across the UK.

I have witnessed the work they do first hand in a number of towns across England, in particular in my role as a lead assessor for the association of town centre managers...


Tougher Sentences for Street Brawlers

Those people working on the front-line have regular cause to discuss the sentences handed down for anti-social and violent behaviour and they generally tend to agree that the deterrent, for violence especially, does not seem to be sufficient.

The government has now suggested a set of proposals to change the framework of sentencing for violent offences through the Sentencing Council.

So the headlines they seem to be looking for are that there will be tougher...


All 7 Mandatory Licensing Conditions Now Apply!

With heavy penalties in place for any breach of conditions, we are urging all our clients the review their procedures and ensure their business complies with all the mandatory conditions, as well as any specific conditions which may apply to their individual premises licence.

On the 1st October 2010 the last two of five new mandatory conditions...


Purple Flag – Recognising Excellence

As a lead assessor for the ATCM’s Purple Flag Award scheme which recognises excellence in the management of the night-time economy in town centres, the thought that Round 3 of the awards has just been launched sends a slight shiver down my spine.

Let me qualify this, the shiver is not one of dread, but rather the more traditional shiver...


Rebalancing the Licensing Act – Home Office Consultation

The Home Office has announced the biggest reform to alcohol licensing since the 2003 Act came into force; possibly the biggest reform in a generation.

They carried out a consultation process in relation to their proposals, however the period during which people had the opportunity to respond to this was relatively...


Alcohol consumption ‘continues to fall’

Alcohol consumption dropped 6% in 2009 and took the UK below the EU average in relations to alcohol consumption per head; nearly a third below the Czech Republic which tops the list.

However although there has been a steady downward trend over the last 5 years, it is also evident that alcohol consumption is up over 50% in the last 50...


Ministers propose Scottish minimum drink price of 45p

The arguments and discussions surrounding minimum pricing have recently been stepped up on all sides, with everyone trying to have their opinion heard; especially at this time when the government is in the middle of a consultation process on overhauling the Licensing Act.

Here are just three such stories we have come across in the last few weeks:

Problem drinking shows up north-south England divisions

Although the headline suggests that there is a division in the toll alcohol has on health in people from the North and South of England, it seems equally clear that the division probably has more to do with relative wealth then geography.

Are there any great surprises there?

Well maybe not but it may come as a surprise that the four worst areas for alcohol related disorder are in London and the south.

Effectively the alcohol related harm may differ...


Police call time on alcohol shots

Portsmouth is certainly not alone in introducing these types of ‘voluntary’ restrictions in order to curb alcohol related violence.

Effectively banning the sale of shots and asking premises to invest in personal head or shoulder mounted cameras for Door Supervisors is a methodology, I think, we should all start getting used to.



Ban on barley is brewing up future trouble

Grain prices have been on an upward trend for some time now and the Russian ban on grain exports following the severe drought in many part of that country over this summer, has led to a spike in prices.

Depending if Russia decides to extend the ban into 2011 or not, this recent spike should not really affect the price of beer in any significant way ; major brewers all hedge the long term cost of the barley they use in the brewing process to avoid the effect of...


Alcohol licensing responsibility returns to the Home Office

The responsibility for licensing has returned to the authority of the Home Office under the new coalition government.

The Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) which has been responsible for licensing for many years and which implemented the Licensing Act 2003, overseeing the greatest change to licensing in a generation has been stripped...


Good news, booze cuts risk of getting arthritis

Once again a news story which confuses the sensible drinking message and which demonstrates why government and health bodies should be delivering sensible alcohol consumption messages, rather than newspapers, individual scientists or individual scientific studies.

I’m not suggesting that this study is factually incorrect, but it does give the newspaper editors a chance of a quick headline, a page filler and a popular justifiable approach to alcohol consumption....


Stampede at German Love Parade festival kills 19

The dangers surrounding free-to-attend events has been highlighted again by this tragedy in Duisburg; the need for meticulous planning and risk reduction measures to be effective in dealing with crowds of any size, must be better recognised.

It shouldn’t mean the end of large or free events, after all ‘events’ the Hajj in Saudi Arabia attracts the largest crowd in the world and this important religious ceremony must go on.

Recriminations about what happened...


Are you prepared for the two new Mandatory Conditions?

On the 1st October 2010 a further two mandatory conditions will come into force under the Licensing Act 2003 in England & Wales through an amendment by the Police and Crime Act 2009.

These come in after the three ...


Lights go out at clubs

It has been a bad few years for nightclubs, who have been struggling on many different fronts and this latest report which suggests that 13% of late night clubs have closed in the last year should come as little surprise.

The recession, smoking ban, higher costs, cheap supermarket alcohol, pre-loading and late night pubs are just some of the reasons given...


NRG-1 'legal high' drug is banned

Naphyrone commonly sold under the ‘brand name’ NRG-1 has been added to a growing list of substances under the drugs misuse act and is now a Class B controlled drug alongside Cannabis and Mephedrone.

Class B drugs carry a maximum sentence for possession of 5 years imprisonment and 14 years imprisonment for supply.


To view the original article please ...


Diageo gives ‘icing’ fad the cold shoulder

Branding is key to business success, from the world biggest companies to the individual business owner running a pub, restaurant, club… or a training & consultancy company.

We all want a strong brand and one which people automatically associate with our core business values. At Beyond The Blue we work tirelessly to associate our brand with the quality we provide, excellence in customer service we deliver and the effectiveness of our training and consultancy for...


London pub ‘refused gay group drinks’

The Licensing Act 2003 contains provision for an authorised person (someone with the authority of the Premises Licence holder), to refuse entry to any person or ask them to leave without giving a reason.

Failure to leave a licensed premises when asked to do so is a criminal offence under the Act.

However it is very clear that you cannot refuse service, refuse entry or ask someone to leave based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or...


Woman trapped after 30ft nightclub sign falls on her

During our National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (NCPLH) course we examine all the licensing objectives; we spend time examining the ‘Public Safety’ objective and all the various issues that fall under this category.  

I always tell the candidates attending that the full list of potential public safety issues is almost endless; here is another...


Prescriptions to treat alcohol dependency reach record level

What we read into this increase in the numbers of prescriptions written for medication linked to alcohol dependency can vary; either more people are becoming alcohol dependent or more people are trying to address their alcohol dependency.

Undoubtedly with 6769 deaths linked to alcohol in 2008, there are still serious problems with alcohol...


Met: England shirt pub ban is just a myth

Some licensing authorities and the police have imposed restriction in the face of possible disorder surrounding the World Cup, with restrictions on capacity and curbs on tournament linked promotion. However these have largely been a response to local issues with crime and disorder rather than national policies.

The licensed trade has been...


Parents in pubs ‘must drink’

Signs, signs, signs… in some places there are so many signs telling you what you can’t do you start to wonder how you ever managed on your own.

There are a number of signs you need to display, the law ensures that licences, health & safety, smoke-free law, cctv, security, price-lists and other signage must be displayed. What you add to this...


Coalition policy: Alcohol loss leaders ban proposed

Tesco backs minimum price for alcohol sales.

So we are in a new era of consensus politics… maybe, maybe not, but that is not the point here, I try and avoid political comment in this blog, but politics and licensing are intrinsically linked and with any new government comes new ideas and a new mandate to govern; this tends to mean ‘change’.

We await the ‘big ideas’ on licensing, but even within a couple of weeks we...


Boy, 17, dies at Rooney club do

It is a sad reflection on our society and the press that the headline and substance of this story is the presence of Wayne Rooney at the club rather than the tragic death of a young man.

If we look past the flippant headline it provides us with an example of the challenges faced by the licensed trade and the importance of doing everything in...


Booze ban girl back in court

If ever evidence were needed to demonstrate that prohibition, minimum pricing or further restriction on licensing hours were not the solution to alcohol related crime and disorder then here it is.

This is truly an indictment on our society as a whole and demonstrates the significant cultural hurdles which need to be overcome when a criminal record is a badge...


Mephedrone ban comes into force in UK

Mephedrone a.k.a. ‘meow meow’ or ‘plant food’ has been reclassified as a class B drug alongside cannabis and now, under the drugs misuse act 1971, carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment for possession and 14 years for the sale or supply.

The reclassification came into force on 16th April 2010. 

A further blog entry will examine the merits of the ban in more detail soon.

To view the original article please...


New Mandatory Conditions – Licensing Act 2003

Three new mandatory conditions came into force on the 6th April 2010. These mandatory conditions apply to every premises licence in England and Wales; and although they will not appear physically on each individual licence they still apply.

These are the first three of a total of five new mandatory conditions being introduced in 2010; the last two are due to be introduced in October.

As with any new legislation, the government has published...


Don’t ban ‘meow meow’

The relative harm of drugs is an argument which got Professor Nutt into trouble and I am not about to wage a scientific argument with him on this particular subject; however I will argue the point on the principle of government scientists dictating policy and on the proposal that some drugs should effectively sold under licence.

It is the...


Electronic Applications - Licensing Act 2003

On the 28th December 2009 while most people were recovering from Christmas and preparing for New Year a change occurred in the way applications can be made for Premises Licence Applications, Minor Variations, Variations, Designated Premises Supervisor Applications, Temporary Event Notices and for the Review of a Premises Licence.

These applications and notices can now be made in writing as they were previously or electronically.

There are...


Minor Variations – Licensing Act 2003

In July 2009 a change was introduced to the Licensing Act 2003 which affected the process of ‘variation of a premises licence’. 

Previously any variation attracted the same formal application and notification processes no matter how insignificant they were.

The introduction of Minor Variations is a ‘common sense’ approach to dealing with those less significant alterations to a premises licence which have little or no effect on the terms of use or the impact...


Ban on new pubs opening to curb alcohol-fuelled violence

We always tell our clients of the importance of a partnership approach to their business, an approach which makes them ‘part of the solution rather than part of the problem’.

Licensing is not an ‘us against them’ situation it is all about compromise and being part of the community you serve. This is especially difficult in urban areas where...


Booze Britain? No, we’re drinking less

Give a journalist a set of statistics and they will choose those which best suit the slant of their story, this is particularly true when it comes to ‘24 hours drinking’ and drinking trends in England and Wales.

I’m not underestimating the effect of alcohol on certain parts of society or the harm it can cause when misused and I am not trying to ignore the impact...


Dear Heroin

This article does not fit our usual approach to the topic of controlled drugs. However sometimes it is worth sharing articles if only to re-emphasise the terrible effect of these drugs. They go some way to highlighting how out of control true addicts really are and explains (it does not excuse) their behaviour and why they take some of the drastic actions they do....


999! I’ve fallen off a car park

With people like this guy around, those people working in the licensed retail sector who face ever increasing regulation and pressure from local authorities to restrict their business activities because of the effects of binge drinking, are fighting a losing battle.

If ever there was an...


Wine-tasting club is the toast of top independent girls’ school

I realise that a wine-tasting club is very much the exception in schools rather than the rule and requires the ‘right environment’ to be effective. However no effort which is made to educate young people about alcohol should be dismissed; after all any scheme which has a positive impact on consumption of alcohol by young people must be a...


Older Blog Entries

Nearly 200 older blog entries can be viewed on our old Beyond The Blue Blog page.


Nightclub owner liable for contract bouncer


This test case is one that all employers and owners should be aware of; it effectively means that contracting out security aspects of your business does not effectively free you of all responsibility.

As responsible employers, we always have to guide our staff in...