Swoop on ‘illegal’ club

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POLICE swooped to shut down an illegal drinking club they believed is linked to a stabbing.

“Operation Brunch” targeted the Sunrise Club housed in a cellar at Sawmill Cottage at the rear of a parade of shops on Chapeltown Road, Chapeltown, Leeds.

Police raid the premises in Chapeltown

Police raid the premises in Chapeltown

As well as tackling the unlicensed drinking den, yesterday’s operation was a response to complaints of drug dealing with reports of youngsters on bikes acting as couriers.

Six people suspected to be linked to the club and drug dealing have been identified by police.

In addition to raiding the club, three adjacent shops on the parade – Stylistics barbers above the club, Orlando’s ladies clothing store and the Chapeltown Mini-Market, and three flats above those premises, were also searched by police.

Yards away, police used gas cutting equipment to removed a security gate to gain entry to a disused taxi office.

Another six addresses in North East Leeds were searched by police with warrants, including homes in Cavalier Approach, Roundhay View, Lascelles Road West and Mexborough Grove.

Passers-by and motorists stopped as police dived from vans shortly before 11am.

More than 60 people were involved including staff from the UK Border Agency, Customs and Excise, Department of Pension and Leeds City Council‘s Licensing Department. At a flat above Stylistics, a 45-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply controlled drugs and suspected crack cocaine worth £1,700 was seized.

In the barber’s itself, a man of 27 was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon. At the Mini-Market, police seized suspected stolen laptops and bottles of wine on which it was believed duty was not paid.

The club, with stocked bar, fruit machine and dance floor, is to be shut immediately and a Fire Service Prohibition Notice served on it.

The operation was sparked after police believed a man was stabbed at the club in January.

Insp Matt Davison, from the Chapel Allerton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The operation was about responding to a community issue that had been affecting countless residents.

“We are working with the council to have this venue closed immediately which should go some way to resolving the issue for those living and working close by. I would like to thank local people during the operation.”

bruce.a.smith@ypn.co.uk

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