West Midlands Police have been accused of ‘bullying’ tactics after apparently threatening local pubs with licensing action if they do not follow orders on serving drinks during the World Cup.
The police have asked all pubs in the area to sign a contract promising they will only serve drinks in plastic glasses, and will have door staff on duty for all England games.
And despite the fact the contracts have no legal power, police said they would be cracking down on pubs that did not comply.
Trade journal the Morning Advertiser said it had seen a copy of the contract, which read: “If, however, you choose to ignore such advice to the detriment of the four licensing objectives, then West Midlands Police will use all the powers it has under the Licensing Act and any other relevant legislation to take action against the licensed premises.”
The conditions imposed by the contract include door staff being present two hours before England matches kick off, and drinks being served only in plastic rather than glass or bottles.
British Beer and Pub Association director of communications Mark Hastings said: “It is extremely disappointing to see West Midlands police using what can only be described as bullying tactics against law-abiding, legitimate businesses.
“They seem intent on creating misery out of what should be a fantastic fun event that brings communities together across the nation.”
Inspector David Rischmiller admitted the police did not have the power to enforce the conditions.
“I would call them recommendations rather than conditions,” he said.
“We want to focus designated premises supervisor’s minds on carrying out proper risk assessments.
“This is not just an opportunity to maximise business, there has to be a proper risk assessment process.”
The business of football – pages 14, 15 and 16