Leeds city centre nightclub closed after spate of violence EXCLUSIVE

A Leeds city centre nightclub has been temporarily closed after a spate of violent incidents.

In the latest incident, a 17-year-old man was stabbed at Gatecrasher on New Briggate in Leeds.

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Last Friday the club closed for a week after police applied to Leeds City Council's Licensing Sub-Committee, which suspended its premises licence for a week.

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A full review of the licence is due to be heard by the Leeds Licensing Committee on February 14.

Acting Superintendent Vernon Francis, of West Yorkshire Police's City and Holbeck Division, said: "The last thing we want to do is risk harming our city's night-time economy by closing premises down, but our priority is keeping the public safe and we can't do this by turning a blind eye to crime and disorder.

"We have regularly tried to work with the club to address the issues affecting them but have been left with no option other than to request the closure and to apply to review the licence."

Leeds' District Licensing Department has taken the action after several violent incidents over the festive period and the first two weeks of 2011.

Officers had already spoken to club owners after the premises accumulated a large number of points on the city centre's Licensing Matrix. The matrix, introduced by Acting Supt Francis, records the number of incidents and crimes within licensed premises in Leeds city centre.

If they score 30 or more points within six months, officers request to speak to owners and licensees to address any issues. Should the premises then score another 30 points during the six months,

enforcement action can be taken.

However violent incidents continued to occur at Gatecrasher, including the stabbing in the early hours of January 15. The victim, who suffered a minor wound, would not co-operate with police. Two suspects could not be traced.

When the club re-opens on Friday, it must operate a 'Check 25' proof-of-age policy, install a specialist machine for checking customers' identities, replace its whole door staff team, and use search arches or hand-held metal detectors when directed to by police officers.

They were also ordered not to host any more We Play Vinyl nights, after many of the incidents took place during these events.


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