UK Music chief Michael Dugher has welcomed the Metropolitan Police's decision to scrap the controversial Form 696.
The risk assessment form is designed by the Met to allow the management of licensed premises, event security and police to work together to minimise the risk of serious violent crime happening at promoted music events. It was introduced in 2005 in response to a number of shootings.
Although its use was voluntary, completion of the form was a condition of premises’ licences in a very small number of case. Mayor Khan had requested a review following concerns that it unfairly targeted grime, garage and R&B acts. It will now be replaced by a new "voluntary partnership approach" for venues and promoters.
Superintendent Roy Smith, said: “It is clear that in recent years the landscape of the night time economy in London has changed and thankfully we have seen a reduction in serious incidents at promoted music events, particularly those involving firearms. We have also been working in close partnership with the music industry and others to raise standards of safety in venues and at events.
“We have taken the decision to remove the Form 696 and instead develop a new voluntary partnership approach for venues and promoters across London. This will provide an excellent opportunity to share information at a local level and work to identify any enhanced risk to ensure the safety of the public.”
UK Music CEO Michael Dugher (pictured) said: “This is fantastic news. UK Music has campaigned to get rid of this unpopular restriction on our diverse and vibrant music scene.
“It’s great that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé have listened to the concerns of the music industry. We thank him for showing leadership on this important issue and ensuring that the London remains a world beater when it comes to our cultural music mix.”
The review examined the impact of the current Form 696 process on promoted events in the night-time economy and considered any negative impact on specific venues and community groups
Mayor Khan said: “Developing a night-time economy that works for everyone is a key priority of mine but it’s also vital that live music events in London take place safely. I called for a review of Form 696 earlier this year because of concerns raised by promoters and artists in the capital that this process was unfairly affecting specific communities and music genres. By bringing together the Met and representatives from across the city’s legendary grassroots music industry, we have shown why having a Night Czar is so important for London.
“This decision will help London’s night-time economy thrive, ensure the capital is a welcoming place for artists and DJs of all music genres and that Londoners are able to enjoy live music safely.”