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Wed 7th Sep 2016 - London nightclub Fabric to close after licence is revoked over drug deaths
London nightclub Fabric to close after licence is revoked over drug deaths: One of Britain’s best known nightclubs, Fabric, has been forced to close permanently after its licence was revoked following the drug-related deaths of two people. After deliberation that lasted into the early hours of this morning (Wednesday, 7 September), Islington Council decided searches by security staff at the London venue had been “inadequate and in breach of the licence”. It added covert police operations suggested people were openly buying and taking illegal drugs on the premises and staff should have been aware of it. The council said: “Staff intervention and security was grossly inadequate in light of the overwhelming evidence that it was abundantly obvious that patrons in the club were on drugs and manifesting symptoms showing that they were. This included sweating, glazed red eyes and staring into space, and people asking for help.” A petition to halt the closure of the club had reached almost 150,000 signatures. Alan Miller, chairman of the Night Time Industries Association, said he would start a grassroots fund to help save the club. The Metropolitan Police had asked the council to shut down the 2,500-capacity nightclub after the deaths of two teenagers in the space of nine weeks. One died after collapsing outside the club in August, while another died in late June. In documents provided to the council, superintendent Stuart Ryan wrote: “If the premises is permitted to remain open and operating in its current form, then there is a strong possibility that further drug-related deaths will occur.” A Scotland Yard spokesman said police had “felt the need to act due to concerns about the safety of those attending the club due to the supply of class-A drugs in the venue and the recent deaths of two young men”. He added: “We support this decision made by Islington Council’s licensing committee. London has a world renowned night-time economy and people should be able to enjoy it safely, without concerns of serious crime. The Met is committed to working in partnership with those responsible for this sector to ensure that this happens.” Fabric had called the deaths of the two teenagers a tragedy and closed its doors temporarily to allow an investigation to take place. Prior to that, it had “operated without incident” for two years, it said. Fabric’s campaign to stay open had been backed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, though he said it was not in his gift to intervene in licensing issues. MP for Islington Emily Thornberry also wrote on Facebook she believed Fabric should stay open.

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