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ScotCen Social Research: Evaluation of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005

04 June 2013 | Tags: health and wellbeing, smoking drinking and drug use

ScotCen Social Research's evaluation of the implementation of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 has been published today (4 June 2013) by NHS Health Scotland.

The three year study examined the implementation of and compliance with the Act, which made major changes to the regulation of the sale of alcohol in Scotland.

The research found that since the implementation of the Act, fewer irresponsible promotions are taking place in Scotland's pubs and clubs.

ScotCen's research suggests that much of the success of the Act is due to work of Licence Standards Officers (LSOs), who are responsible for supervising compliance, and providing information, guidance and mediation for disputes.

The report also identified some areas of implementation of the Act where more work is needed. It revealed that the public health objective, designed to protect and improve public health, was not having the expected impact and recommended a clearer definition and more guidance on its implementation.

The report also suggested that Local Licensing Forums, made up of representatives from key groups including public health, licensed trade, police, set up to review the implementation of the Act by Licensing Boards, would benefit from greater powers.

Lead author of the report, Andy MacGregor, Research Director, ScotCen Social Research said:

"The evidence in this report suggests that the Licensing Act has helped reduce the number of irresponsible promotions taking place in on sales. The role of LSOs has been very important in this as they have worked constructively with licensed trade staff, offered guidance, support and advice when appropriate and have often resolved issues without the need for Licensing Boards to become involved.

As with most legislation, there are areas where more work is needed and this clearly demonstrates the importance of carrying out this kind of research. This report will allow policymakers to understand what is working and what isn't and refine licensing policy accordingly."

For further details, including copies of the full report, or to speak with Andy MacGregor contact Leigh Marshall: leigh.marshall@natcen.ac.uk 0207 549 8506 or 0782 803 1850.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

ScotCen Social Research is an independent, not for profit organisation. We believe that social research has the power to make life better. By really understanding the complexity of people's lives and what they think about the issues that affect them, we give the public a powerful and influential role in shaping decisions and services that can make a difference to everyone.