The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Saturday 15th November 2008 - Police, music, violence and Form 696

"Music promotions attract people who have a propensity to use violence. That's not speculation. We have a duty to prevent that from happening."

So says Detective Inspector Dave Eyles, Metropolitan Police Club and Vice Office, quoted in 'Police vet live music, DJs for terror risk', by Andrew Orlowski in The Register, 11 November 2008:

And this view of music is why the Met is now putting London councils under pressure to use the Licensing Act to demand the names, addresses and dates of birth of performers two weeks in advance of gigs, as well as the style of music.

The 8-page form is known as Form 696 and is available to view here:

In 2003, the former head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Chris Fox, wrote a notorious letter to the then Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, warning against entertainment licensing exemptions for small gigs:

'Live music always acts as a magnet in whatever community it is being played. It brings people from outside that community and having no connection locally behave in a way that is inappropriate, criminal and disorderly.'

There are senior police officers who dissent from that view, but their influence within the Met apparently counts for nothing. It would seem that far from disappearing into the rubbish bin of history, Mr Fox's reactionary views are being vigorously and actively pursued by the Met.


Hamish Birchall