The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin

Thursday 10th September 2009 - Form 696 changes undermine petition

Changes made to Form 696 by the Metropolitan Police earlier this week could allow the prime minister to claim that the Number 10 petitioners' demands have been met.

The problem for the Number 10 petition is that it doesn't actually call for the Form to be scrapped. It asks the prime minister to '... scrap the unnecessary and draconian USAGE of the 696 Form from London music events.' [my emphasis]

The changes made to the Form allow the police and the prime minister to claim that the Form is no longer implicitly racist, is more carefully targetted, and that its unnecessary or draconian use is unlikely.

The new version of the Form is available on the Met's website:

Names, addresses and dates of birth of performers (data the police will retain for six years) remains mandatory, but controversial questions about the target audience have been removed, and its use is now subject to four conditions:

the event is promoted/advertised to the public at any time before the event;
it includes DJs or MCs performing to a recorded backing track;
it runs any time between 10pm and 4am;
it takes place in a nightclub or a large public house.

Many live music events will still be caught, however. The Form also suggests that these conditions are guidelines rather than rigid rules: 'The recommended guidance doesn't restrict the use of the form solely to any specific event and it is encouraged that any music event organiser or management of licensed premises and promoters use the form voluntarily to engage with police.'


Hamish Birchall