The Live Music Forum


Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Tuesday 3rd February 2009 - Scrap Form 696 petition rises to number 6

The petition calling on Gordon Brown to scrap Form 696 now has over 15,000 signatures and is at number 6 in the list of nearly 5,000 petitions on the Number 10 petition website:

The controversial Met police gig risk assessment form has been in the media spotlight since last November when Feargal Sharkey raised it during evidence to the Culture Committee Licensing Act inquiry: [search within page for 696]

Form 696 was introduced by the Met in 2005 in response to rising gun and knife at some London venues. The form requires venues to provide contact details and dates of birth of performers two weeks in advance of gigs, details of the 'target audience' and the style of music being performed. If enforced as a licence condition, failure to comply is a criminal offence. Sharkey claims that 21 London councils have adopted the Form as a potential licence condition.

The Met and London councils defend the form on the grounds that it prevents crime and that in any case it only applies to problem venues. The continued success of the online petition suggests that this message has failed to convince the music-loving public.

Sharkey, as CEO of UK Music, and Musicians Union officials, have strongly criticised the form in various press articles and broadcasts, suggesting judicial review or other means of legal redress: and

However, neither organisation has yet made any formal statement on Form 696 on their respective websites:

Hamish Birchall