Society nightclub licence suspended again after CCTV footage disappears
A nightclub has had its licence suspended for the second time in three months after CCTV footage went missing following a disorder at the venue.
Police were called to the Society Bar and Nightclub in Wolverhampton city centre to investigate a reported outbreak of trouble following two 999 calls.
The club was found to be serving alcohol outside of licensing hours at the time of the disorder, in which a man suffered a hand injury. Officers were called to the scene at 8am on Sunday, July 7.
Police said CCTV it had requested was taken from the premises and the hard drive removed.
A spokesman for the club denied there had been any serious trouble and accused police of being "vexacious".
The latest incident follows a large-scale disorder at a private birthday party for a known gang member at the Skinner Street venue in March, which saw its licence suspended first time round.
Police said the owners had failed to adopt a series of recommendations advised by the force prior to the party, including having eight door staff working, metal detectors and an invite-only guest list.
A man was stabbed and two knives discovered on the premises with a third found on the perimeter with a neighbouring property. Cannisters containing nitrous oxide were also discovered strewn across the floor.
A licensing committee heard that police and paramedics were met with hostility from guests and were unable to access the premises. The victim, in his 30s, was later taken to hospital for treatment.
Ten new conditions on Society’s premises licence including a recognised security firm to be in place at all events, installation of a knife arch and CCTV to cover all areas, were imposed. Committee members accepted it was an isolated incident.
Sergeant Steph Reynolds from Wolverhampton Police Licensing, who applied for second review, said: "The premises was serving alcohol outside of the licensable hours when the disorder occurred, resulting in two 999 calls to the police. A man sustained a serious hand injury.
"After police requested the CCTV, it was removed from the premises and the hard drive removed, denying police officers access to the CCTV from inside the premises.
"The licensing sub-committee, having heard and seen the evidence decided that a serious disorder had occurred and that the review brought by the police was not vexatious or repetitious, as Mr Jake Flanagan representing claimed."
The club claim a member of staff held an unauthorised party for friends after the management team had locked up at 4am. He has since been dismissed for gross misconduct, it was said.
The sub-committee suspended the club's licence pending a full hearing.
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