NME.COM

HOME LOSES LICENCE

The local council act after a covert police operation uncovered "open drug-dealing" on the premises of the club...

HOME nightclub in LONDON has had its music and dance licence revoked, after police claimed to have found evidence of drug dealing on the premises.

In a press statement issued today by Westminster City Council, officials say the decision to revoke the licence was taken "after open drug-dealing on the premises was uncovered in a covert police operation".

It is claimed that the police operation in the Leicester Square club on March 23 led to the arrest of an ecstasy dealer. As a consequence, an emergency meeting of the council's Licensing Sub-Committee was called and last night and the decision was made "in the interests of public safety" to revoke the licence.

Westminster's Director of Planning and Transportation, Carl Powell, said: "There was clear evidence of open drug-dealing at the club and the City Council's Licensing Sub-Committee was dutybound to revoke the public entertainment licence in the interests of public safety.

"Having carefully reviewed all the circumstances of the case and available evidence from the police, the Sub-Committee concluded that there is a serious problem that the local authority must deal with.

"The decision to revoke the licence was not taken lightly. It was based on unequivocal police evidence and police concern about drug-dealers who prey on vulnerable young people.

"This decision should act as a warning to any other premises where there is a serious drug problem. We believe the decision to revoke the licence will significantly assist in dealing with the problem of drugs at these premises.

"The City Council will continue to work closely with the Metropolitan Police, and the entertainment industry, to try to stamp out such illegal, dangerous and antisocial activity.

"We have a duty to manage the city within the law, and well-run night clubs are an essential part of West End nightlife. This case was a response to a specific problem. Our paramount aim is to protect the health and safety of club-goers."

A spokesperson for Westminster City Council explained to NME.COM that the removal of the licence does not mean the club will have to shut entirely. The club will still be able to serve alcohol between the hours of 7-11pm, and remain open until 3am. However, it will be unable to allow music to be played or people to dance in the club.

Home have 21 days to appeal against the decision.

NME.COM contacted Home for comment this afternoon (March 30), but they were still in the process of preparing a statement. NME.COM will bring more details as they emerge.

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