LondonNet News Headlines
06/09/01
Clubs Told to Crack Down on Dealers
- 'You won't lose your licence if you come forward,' police tell owners

POLICE are throwing down the gauntlet to club-owners to contact them without fear of prosecution if they suspect drug dealing is taking place on their premises.

The move came after another central London club, The Seen, was closed down following police investigation amid allegations of drug dealing. The Soho club is the second venue to have its licence revoked by Westminster Council after UKP10 million superclub Home was forced to close its doors last March over drug-dealing.

"Club owners and managers should understand that, if they have any suspicions about drugs being sold on their premises it is better for them to come forward," said Chief Inspector Chris Bradford. "Historically club owners have been nervous about going to the police in fear that they themselves could be prosecuted. We don't work like that, if someone is upfront with us, we'll be upfront with them."

Under the Public Entertainment licences (Misuse of Drugs) Act, councils have the power to revoke club licences before a police prosecution. The act was introduced in 1997 after the well-publicised death of Leah Betts who died of an ecstasy overdose at her 18th birthday party.

A spokesperson for Westminster council said on the decision to revoke the Soho club's licence: "It was based on police evidence combined with our desire to drive drugs from the West End and protect young people from the effects of this trade."



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