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The Outback nightclub has licence suspended after stab attack

Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

A nightclub in Wolverhampton city centre which was linked to a serious stabbing last month has had its licence suspended.

The Outback bar in Queen Street, Wolverhampton

Bosses of The Outback, in Queen Street, were told about the decision by city planners this week.

The move came following recommendations made by West Midlands Police.

Officers were called to the venue in the early hours of January 26 following reports of a stabbing in the street outside.

The victim had suffered three stab wounds to the back.

Police arrested four men on suspicion of serious assault, three of whom were known to be affiliated with a Wolverhampton gang.

Only the victim and his friends had been inside the nightclub earlier.

The application for a summary review of the premises licence was heard by council bosses in the presence of the club’s owner Abdul Matli and current licence holder Manjit Singh.

They were accompanied by consultant Jake Flanagan, who said the venue “didn’t underestimate the gravity of the incident” and that staff had called emergency services and done all they could to assist.

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Pc Michelle Churm, of West Midlands Police, told the meeting that previous intelligence had raised a number of concerns regarding a “non-compliance with licence conditions” such as staff’s failure to wear lapel cams, use link radios, brief door security effectively and report back to the police.

This had resulted in Pc Churm’s colleague, Sergeant Steph Reynolds, requesting owner Mr Matli submit a list of performers and DJs booked to play the venue in order for officers to carry out proper risk assessments.

The manager agreed to provide police with full details in order for them to gauge audience capacity and clientele in advance, which he did as recently as Wednesday, January 23, this year.

However, Pc Churm told licensing members that further police intelligence revealed he had failed to mention a specific performer deemed “high risk”.

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She said: “This individual was wanted by the Metropolitan Police. Our other operations indicated that known gang members from Birmingham would be attending the venue to see this particular performer.

“We have serious concerns that the premises purposely withheld information from us – knowing the event would be ‘high risk’.

“This undermined the prevention of our crime and disorder licensing objective and ultimately resulted in someone being seriously harmed with a weapon.

“Also, due to failings in search procedures on the door, we later uncovered evidence of a blade being removed from someone’s pocket inside the venue, which was later seen on the club’s CCTV.”

Pc Churm added that on the grounds of the police evidence, the premises licence should be suspended and that interim steps be applied to the application.

Following discussions, licensing sub-committee members said they were “satisfied” that this was necessary and suspended the licence pending a full review hearing.

By Joe Sweeney

Local Democracy Reporter

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