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Duty Managers Toolbox Newsletter 1 - 31st Oct 2023

Police Compliance Checks
Acting Senior Sergeant Ian Paulin is the Coordinator of Alcohol Harm Prevention Community Partnerships and Prevention at National Headquarters. He has given us some valuable insight into Police Compliance Checks when police visit your premises.
Ever wondered why police go into bars, dressed in hi-vis in large numbers?  What are they trying to accomplish?
In police speak this is called a 3H licensed premises compliance check.  Essentially we are checking that the licensed premises is complying with all aspects of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (the Act). To do this properly we need to talk with patrons, security, and duty managers and we need to record the results of these conversations.
When we enter, one of us will engage with the duty manager and will run through recording the visit on their iPhone.  This is a quick way to ensure checks are consistent throughout the country and we record the same data every time.  We will also check the security have their (current!) COA displayed.
We wear our hi-vis so we can see each other, keeping each of us safe- I’m not saying you  run a unsafe bar but the police presence in a bar can provoke some primal activity in even your best behaved patrons. A large premises needs good numbers of officers to cover in a timely manner, so sometimes we do have large numbers.
We will talk to your patrons, as you know the SCAB assessment tool is the industry standard from assessing intoxication, so to start that process we like to get people speaking.  A vast majority of these conversations are a bit of friendly banter, or a quick yarn but the odd one does invoke a more thorough investigation.  We will ask the duty manager for their opinion and will get another police officer to do an independent assessment as well.  This is usually best handled outside where it is quieter.
A quality compliance check will look into what food options are available, with a quick peek at the kitchen and freezer. Yes it has happened more than once where a pie couldn’t be microwaved because there was no microwave, even worse the freezer is locked with no key, absolute worse case was a kitchen piled high with furniture removed from the bar to make a dance floor.
We will check the low alcohol options and where your free water is and then be on our way.  A vast majority of visits are done and dusted in 10 minutes.  If you think things didn’t go as well as they could, we are open to feedback. Speak to your local Alcohol Harm Prevention Officer.
Ka pai Ian – thanks for the advice!

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