Murder hate music banned

Music which encourages violence towards minority groups has been banned in Brighton and Hove in the first move of its kind in the country. Proposals to outlaw so-called "murder music" in venues, pubs and clubs have been agreed as part of a review of the city's licensing policy.

Last year, Concorde 2 in Madeira Drive, Brighton, cancelled a Buju Banton gig at the 11th hour after the council threatened to withdraw its licence In 1992, the Jamaican musician wrote and recorded a song called Boom Bye Bye which advocates the shooting of gay men.

He is banned from singing it in this country but gay campaigners claim he performed it abroad as recently as 2005.

Singer Banton has since signed up to a commitment to ban hatred and prejudice from his music.

Until now, there has been no explicit policy stopping other venues organising similar concerts.

Councillors have now agreed to include the ban as part of its official licensing policy.

The document outlines that the measures have been introduce to prevent crime and disorder and improve well being and safety of all the communities in the city.

It reads: "Licensing policy supports the crime and disorder reduction partnership's crime reduction strategy.

"In particular it seeks to confront and reduce racist, homophobic, transphobic and religiously motivated crimes, incidents and antisocial behaviour.

"Particular attention will be paid to any licensed premises where there is evidence of criminal activity or any association with racist or homophobic crime."

Councillor Dee Simson, head of licensing, said: "In Brighton and Hove we have a good record on equalities and we felt it was important was important to include this in the licensing policy.

"We do not want music that incites racial or homophobic hatred."

Inspector Bill Whitehead, head of licensing for Brighton and Hove, welcomed the move but said it would have to be carefully balanced with free speech.

He said: "It is not our job to censor but people do need to recognise the law and stay within its bounds.

"Whilst I recognise and support what the council want to put in place we need to be careful to ensure people's right to free speech is not curtailed."

Plans to limit the number of new licensed premises are also being drawn up but have not yet been included in the new licensing policy.

Police are pushing for one of the largest cumulative impact zones in the country, which puts the emphasis on the operator to demonstrate the venue will not add to violent disorder.

The scheme was delayed after it emerged that the consultation was flawed and has now been restarted.

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