Leeds nightclub’s catalogue of booze-fuelled teen violence

La Boheme , Cross York Street, Leeds
La Boheme , Cross York Street, Leeds
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A LEEDS nightclub and cabaret bar could be stripped of its licence after a shocking catalogue of teen violence and under-age drinking.

West Yorkshire Police has asked for a review of the licence for La Boheme, in Cross York Street, after months of problems and dozens of callouts by officers.

At a meeting tomorrow (Feb 27), licensing chiefs will be presented with a 140-page dossier of evidence from officers and local residents.

Problems have included:

* Mass brawls involving scores of teenagers

* Open drug taking and dealing

* No working CCTV or drug safe

* Violence against police officers

* Chronic “ineffectiveness” by management and unqualified door staff

A report to the Leeds council licencing panel, which will debate the application tomorrow, says: “There have been several serious disorder incidents, where police have been required to attend and control drunken revellers, on one occasion involving very large numbers of extremely inebriated under-18s.

“Several meetings have been held with the management where advice has been given, but this has been unsuccessful in [preventing] continued disorder, drug-taking, under-age drinking and violence, not to mention numerous reports of noise nuisance from local residents. During the latest disorder, discarded knives were found and customers were extremely violent.

“The police have no faith in the management’s ability. Decisions to hold risk events are being made to maximise profits regardless of the resulting danger to the public, and the likelihood of increased crime.”

The YEP understands that the club has not been operating in recent weeks, however the licence is still effective. The dossier includes a letter from La Boheme’s landlords, who have demanded the transfer-back of the licence and promised “the premises will not re-open until suitable management can be found.”

The report to the licensing panel includes a detailed chronology of events, starting from the first visit by licensing officers last April.

Numerous police visits in the following months revealed people openly smoking cannabis and complaints of “persistent noise nuisance”.

In October, police attended a mass brawl involving 50-70 people, and found open drug dealing, “ineffective” door staff and the management having “no control whatsoever”.

The report said there were “scores of under 18s staggering around the streets, drinking from open bottles, a 16-year old with a head injury, fireworks being thrown”.

One witness who called police said the club has been “creating havoc” almost from the day it opened, and police were “struggling to control crowds of people”.

Another witness, who lives in the Iceworks apartment block behind the club, said: “It is getting to the point where there is just no quality of life living in the apartment.

“The noise, the fighting, the drunkenness, broken bottles, drugs and teenagers is becoming more frequent. I feel unsafe, intimidated and it isn’t acceptable.”

The venue currently has a licence to open for 21 hours a day, and to sell alcohol from 11am to 6am every day.

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