skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 227792 Find in a Library
Title: Shaping the Night: How Licensing, Social Divisions and Informal Social Controls Mould the Form and Content of Nightlife
Journal: Crime Prevention and Community Safety  Volume:11  Issue:3  Dated:July 2009  Pages:219-234
Author(s): Phil Hadfield; Fiona Measham
Date Published: July 2009
Page Count: 16
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper examines the licensing of establishments as premises for various night-time activities as a governmental tool for controlling crime and disorder in the night-time economy (NTE) of Great Britain.
Abstract: Using recent contrasting examples from the English and Welsh experience - the regulation of live music events and lap dancing - this paper shows how licensing frameworks endorse particular social, cultural, and economic activities while criminalizing, demonizing, and suppressing others. Under previous legislation (Licensing Act 1964), a so-called 'two-in-a-bar' rule allowed pubs and other licensed premises to host up to two live music performers without needing a public entertainment license in addition to their license to sell alcohol. The Licensing Act 2003 removed this exemption, requiring all live music provisions to be part of the new, all-encompassing premises license. This has meant that in many smaller venues, such as bars (where music is not the main focus), in which provision for live music was not included in their licensing, it is now increasingly difficult to host live music because it was not part of the original licensing agreement. Regarding lap-dancing venues, on the other hand, the Licensing Act 2003 has drawn no distinction between contemporary lap dancing and other forms of pub and club 'entertainment', such as cabaret and karaoke. The contrasting examples of licensing applications for lap-dancing and live music show how cultural activities can be suppressed or facilitated through licensing, with little or no thoughtful justification. The fact that the Licensing Act 2003 has not, thus far, transformed the drinking culture of England and Wales, or caused a shift away from drinking as the central focus of social and economic activities in the NTE should not be surprising. The implementation of any legislation is complicated by interlocking variables related to cultural and economic priorities and power that is resistant and adaptive to change. 61 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Alcohol-crime relationship; Alcohol-Related Offenses; Alcoholic beverage consumption; Alcoholic beverages; Foreign laws; Informal social control; Licensing; Social change; Social reform
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.