There are plenty of things that occasionally go on in pubs which are either illegal or in contravention of some code of practice. People are sometimes heard to mutter about this and say “something really needs to be done about it”. So I thought it would be interesting to create a poll to see which of various “pub transgressions” they would personally report to the authorities, the results of which are shown below:
I suspect the results of this have been skewed by it being circulated around some anti-smoking group. I looked at it at one point where there were 52 responses, with a lowish score for “permitting smoking indoors” and either one or zero for “non-conforming smoking shelter”. Then later the same day, the total had shot up to 97, with strong votes for both of those options. So I’d say those results can be discounted and, frankly, if anyone actually reports a pub to the local council for having a non-conforming smoking shelter, let alone someone who claims to support pubs, they should be taken out and shot.
Of the other results, perhaps understandably “allowing drug dealing” was the highest scorer, but next was “consistently serving short measures”, although I wish you luck getting your hard-pressed local trading standards department to show any interest in that. Obviously serving drunk drivers and selling black market spirits also scored strongly, but people seemed much more willing to put up with turning a blind eye to prostitution.
However, as Phil says in the comments, “Interesting question, as it combines two separate things - "do you disapprove of X?" and "would you actually report somebody allowing X?” In practice, if a pub was allowing drug-dealing and prostitution, or full of underage drinkers, most people would probably just take their custom elsewhere. For most of the other things, if they liked the pub on other counts, they would be most likely to mutter into their beer but put up with it. One pub near me used to illegally show City matches when they were on at 3pm on Saturday afternoons. Now, I’d rather they didn’t, and I would avoid it on such occasions, but I wouldn’t dream of telling Sky.
In reality, the only circumstances under which I can see people reporting any of these things to the relevant authorities are if they had a grudge against the pub in question or wanted to settle a score. In general, British people have always been suspicious of vigilantism and informing on neighbours, especially now when the State seems to want to intrude ever further into our daily lives.