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Publication name: An evaluation of the implementation of, and compliance with, the objectives of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005
Date: 04 June 2013
Description: The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (‘the Act’), an Act of the Scottish Parliament which makes provision for regulating the sale of alcohol, and for regulating licensed premises and other premises on which alcohol is sold, came into full effect in September 2009. NHS Health Scotland commissioned a three-year evaluation of the implementation of, and compliance with, the Act.

The aim of the evaluation was to: monitor and describe the implementation of and compliance with the Act and identify the barriers and facilitators to implementation and compliance. The evaluation was undertaken by ScotCen Social Research and took placed between 2010 and 2013. The study used mixed methods.

In general, the Act was viewed as having a positive impact and perceptions of it became increasingly positive over time.

Aspects which were viewed most positively included:

• Role and function of Licensing Standards Officers (LSOs)
• Increased powers for Licensing Boards (Boards)
• Training for LSOs, Board members and trade staff
• Relationships between Boards/LSOs and trade staff
• Fewer irresponsible promotions in pubs and clubs.
• Possible reduction of direct sales of alcohol to underage young people

Issues which provoked a more mixed response included:

• Role and function of Licensing Forums
• Public health objective
• Defining and measuring capacity and overprovision
• Impact on the off trade sector
• Brightcrew and case law
• National and local data

Despite the overall positive reception for the Act, there were a number of issues identified that could also be improved. The report therefore outlines a number of recommendations for alcohol licensing.
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RE024 Licensing Act Evaluation Final Report.pdf   [886.24 KB]

English language version

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