Section 25: Enforcement
81.Subsection (1)(a)-(b) empowers a constable, or any authorised person, to enter the premises at any reasonable time, and to do such things as are reasonably necessary to secure that the requirements of the closure order are met. This could include, for example, boarding up the premises to prevent unauthorised persons gaining access to breach the order. “Authorised persons” in this context may include workers tasked to board up such premises.
82.Subsections (2)-(3) require the constable or any authorised person to produce evidence of his authority to enter and also his identity before entering the premises, if asked to do so by the owner, or the occupier or the person in charge of the premises. An offence of intentionally obstructing a constable or an authorised person in the exercise of his powers under the Act is also created. The maximum penalty on summary conviction for this offence would be a fine not exceeding level 5 (£5,000) if committed against an authorised person, or if committed against a constable, imprisonment for up to one month or a fine of up to level 5 (£5,000) or both.
83.Subsection (4) creates a new offence of opening the premises, without reasonable excuse, in contravention of a closure order. The maximum penalty on summary conviction would be a fine not exceeding £20,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both. Subsection (5) creates a further offence of failing to comply with any other terms of the closure order, the maximum penalty for which is a fine not exceeding level 5 (£5,000) or imprisonment for up to three months or to both.
84.Subsection (6) defines an “authorised person” for the purposes of this section as a person authorised by the local authority in respect of premises situated in the area of the local authority.