Leeds nightclub loses licence after violence

Gatecrasher, New Briggate, Leeds.

Gatecrasher, New Briggate, Leeds.

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One of the biggest nightclubs in Leeds has lost its licence, following a spate of violent incidents and a drain on police resources.

A full review of city centre Gatecrasher Seven’s licence was held in Leeds, where councillors decided to revoke the licence with immediate effect.

But the club, at New Briggate, remains open for trading, as the club has launched an appeal. Around 80 jobs are at risk.

The revoke follows the stabbing of a 17-year-old man on January 14 and various incidents over the last few weeks, centred around a Friday night event called ‘We Play Vinyl’.

Management at the club have offered to improve the running of the popular nightspot by installing an electronic ID verification system; upgraded metal detectors for weapons, and the immediate cancellation of ‘We Play Vinyl’ events.

However, councillors on the licensing panel said several violent incidents over the festive period and during January had led to the decision and that management had “undermined public safety” and failed to act on police advice.

West Yorkshire Police said the 1,260 capacity club had been a problem, particularly on Friday nights.

Acting Supt Vernon Francis told the hearing: “They are a massive drain on police resources. There are problems into the early hours each weekend.

“My daughter goes out into Leeds city centre and I certainly would not want her attending this club.

“We have repeatedly tried to work with the management but they have not been transparent or helpful.”

Gatecrasher managing director Simon Raine said the club had appealed against the decision.

He said: “Safety and security is a top priority at the Gatecrasher. We have strengthened our procedures following these events.

“Since the club opened in 2005, over one million people have come through the doors and the club has had an unblemished record to date.

“We want to work closely with the council and police. Public safety is of paramount importance.

“We acknowledge some events had attracted a minority of undesirable elements, which led to an increase in general crime and disorder. These events have been cancelled.”

A further appeal hearing will be held at the city’s magistrates’ court to decide on the club’s future.

alison.bellamy@ypn.co.uk

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