Officers successfully applied to revoke the licence of Gatecrasher, on New Briggate, at Leeds City Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee on Monday (14 February).
The Leeds District Licensing Department, which is part of West Yorkshire Police’s City and Holbeck Division, took action against the club following a number of violent incidents over the festive period and the first fortnight of the New Year.
Officers had previously raised concerns because of problems during the ‘We Play Vinyl’ events on Fridays, but having originally tried to work with the club to resolve the issues affecting the premises, the number of violent incidents continued to rise.
After an underage drinker was stabbed within the venue in the early hours of Saturday, 15 January, officers immediately applied to Leeds City Council to close the club. Its licence was originally suspended for a week.
At Monday’s hearing at Leeds Civic Hall, the club’s owners and management were criticised for ‘consistently undermining the crime prevention and public safety licensing objectives’ by failing to adhere to their own policies and by ignoring advice from the Leeds District Licensing Department and Neighbourhood Policing Team officers.
Once the club has been served its Notice of Determination it can continue trading for a further three weeks before having to close, unless an appeal is lodged.
The Leeds District Licensing Department operates an innovative ‘Matrix’ scoring system, where licensed premises accumulate points depending on the number of crimes and incidents related to them.
Should premises accumulate 30 points within a six-month rolling period, officers look to intervene by meeting with the premises owners and licensees.
If the premises then score a further 30 points, the Leeds District Licensing Department will look to take enforcement action. However, should a serious violent crime occur within a premises, officers will immediately look to liaise with its management.
Acting Chief Inspector Sue Jenkinson, who is responsible for policing in Leeds city centre, said: “Leeds city centre is a safe place to be because of the hard work that officers and partner agencies are putting in to cut violent crime and reduce incidents of disorder.
“Our first priority is always to ensure the safety of the public, and although the last thing we would want to do is harm our city’s night-time economy by closing any premises down we will always work to put a stop to violent crime and its causes.”