The Council, Metropolitan Police Service, RFU, local publicans and Tournament Organisers, England Rugby 2015, have agreed a more flexible approach to managing licensing during Twickenham based evening matches during Rugby World Cup 2015.

The revised approach follows a meeting of representatives from all of the key stakeholders on Monday 24 August. All parties agreed a more flexible approach that would adapt to suit the actual volumes of people within key locations and Town Centres on each match day.

This is a move away from the more fixed approach taken for the England vs France QBE International on 15 August which involved pubs being asked to voluntarily restrict entry after 10pm.

For the duration of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the overriding concerns remain that this is a safe and enjoyable tournament for spectators and visitors alike and that all can travel home sensibly. The new approach will involve the local police and Council officers, working in partnership with publicans before and during evening matches. Together, they will gauge the actual number of people in the town centres at each evening match and within each licensed premise, as well as at other key locations including the Fan Zone.

This information will be collated and will enable the Police to make decisions, in respect of licensing, that are based on customer numbers at that time. As a result, there will be no rigid application of deadlines – instead the Police will liaise in real time with licensees, taking decisions to manage people flow and ensure the safety and security of rugby fans and residents.

Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said:

“Getting the licensing arrangements right is very important. It is a balancing act. Twickenham is not a ‘dry town’. We want everyone who comes to Rugby World Cup 2015 to enjoy themselves. But, we also want them to be safe and to be able to get home.

“The meeting showed how willing all organisations, and the publicans, are to working in partnership to make the Tournament a success. Together we have agreed an approach that we think will strike the right balance. We will continue to review it throughout the Tournament, as the dynamic of the event develops.

“I would like to thank all partners, including the local publicans for constructively agreeing this way forward.”

Stuart Green, Licensee of The Cabbage Patch, said:

“We all want the same thing – a successful, safe and enjoyable time for visitors to the rugby, regulars in the pubs and local residents. Working in collaboration will allow us to share information quickly and easily so we can offer great hospitality while ensuring the pubs and transport links aren’t over overcrowded.”

Superintendent Jon Williams, from the Metropolitan Police Service, said:

“We want people to enjoy theRugbyWorldCup, and will work with our partners to ensure a safe and successful tournament. As with any major event, we encourage people to plan their journeys and travel plans before they come to the matches.”

Ian Ritchie, RFU Chief Executive, said:

“We are pleased to reach this decision which works for all parties. We have a good working relationship with both Richmond Council and the Metropolitan Police and are grateful for their support in ensuring that matches at Twickenham in the World Cup are a huge success for all involved.”

— from a Richmond Council press release – 26 August 2015