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Newmarket: Nightclub faces licence review after man ‘glassed’

09:00 24 December 2012

The Innocence / Heaven nightclub in Newmarket.

The Innocence / Heaven nightclub in Newmarket.

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A NIGHTCLUB’S licence could be reviewed after police claimed the venue was associated with serious crime.

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Suffolk Constabulary said the Innocence Nightclub in Newmarket, which shares a building with lap dancing club Heaven, had a “disproportionately high” number of assaults and incidents of disorder.

Officers asked for a summary review of the licence following an incident on December 1 where a man was hit in the face with a glass bottle and what they described as an “irresponsible” drink promotion.

In a report to a sub-committee of the licensing committee of Forest Heath District Council, police said that VIP tickets on the night of the attack sold for £30/£35 and included unlimited drinks.

Officers said that the incident at the venue, which they claimed only opens about once every four weeks, was not isolated and listed 14 assaults and four reports of serious disorder within the last 12 months.

The Licensing Act 2003 Sub-Committee, which will make a ruling on the application to review the licence on December 31, will also be told that high traces of cocaine were found in the downstairs male toilet and in the upstairs VIP area when police carried out a “trace detection” test on December 8.

Traces of MDMA, widely known as ecstasy, was also found in the VIP area and upstairs ladies toilet.

The council report states that conditions attached to the existing licence are “limited in scope” and have not been varied since 2005.

It adds that on December 4 Suffolk Constabulary met with representatives from the club and agreed that 33 conditions should be added to the licence.

Jason Newell, director of Heaven Awaits Limited, said the club licence was being reviewed because it had a “close relationship” with the local authorities.

He added: “We have limited conditions on our licence which is good for us, but bad for them.”

Addressing the issue of assaults at the club, Mr Newell said: “No premises wants any anti-social behaviour, but unfortunately it does happen. But anything that has happened has been minor and has been dealt with professionally.”

While the application to review the licence is considered, all drinks - excluding Champagne bottles will be served in polycarbonate bottles or decanted into polycarbonate glasses.

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