Consultation sees controversial Form 696 axed

A recent industry wide review has seen the controversial Form 696 risk assessment axed, after concerns raised by members of the London music industry which suggested that urban music events – particularly those associated with grime music – were discriminated against by Form 696.

The review was called for after a meeting of the London Music Board that was co-hosted by Amy Lamé the Night Czar, Justine Simons OBE Deputy Mayor for Culture, and Superintendent Roy Smith from the Met.

Since the meeting, the Met’s central licensing team has consulted an extensive range of stakeholders, including local authority licensing managers, Musician’s Union, London Promoter’s Forum, the Institute of Licensing, and various venue owners.

Form 696 was originally introduced in 2005 in response to a number of shootings at promoted club nights across London.

Superintendent Roy Smith, commented: “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 taken the decision to remove 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.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added: “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.”

The Met will be working with colleagues from local authorities to understand the implication of this decision on venues that have the use of Form 696 as a condition on their premises licence, as well as the impact on existing local licensing policies.