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Nightclub to stay closed after string of drug offences.

AN Ellesmere Port nightclub has been ordered to remain closed until June following a string of serious incidents including drug use and violence.

Chester magistrates' court yesterday imposed a three-month closure order on Club Xes, on Whitby Road, which will see the club's doors shut until June 24.

It came after police used new powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to issue an initial closure notice at Club Xes on April 1. At the court hearing, a dossier of uncontested evidence was submitted by the force which included details of 19 incidents between March 2013 and March 2015.

The force said the incidents involved licence breaches, drugs use and violence, some of which resulted in serious injuries including a broken jaw and a fractured eye socket.

Cocaine was also detected in the disabled toilets after officers visited the premises and carried out swab tests last month.

Following the court's decision to impose a three-month closure order, Cheshire West and Chester Council's licensing committee will now decide the long-term future of Club Xes during a meeting to be held in the coming weeks.

The club, which opened in 2010, is on the first floor of a building on Whitby Road above Indian restaurant Saffron, which is unaffected by the closure order.

Following the hearing Barry Holland, the club's solicitor, told the ECHO: "We will be working with Cheshire police in the hope we can improve the situation to such a degree that the police will be happy for us to re-open."

Mr Holland had earlier told the court his client, designated premises supervisor Mohammed Haque, was "very contrite" and had "trusted other people who have let him down", but was doing his very best to re-open the premises.

The court order means that no-one is allowed into Club Xes until June 24, and anyone who does enter is liable to be arrested and faces up to six months in prison, a PS5,000 fine, or both.

Chief Inspector Deborah Hooper said: "I am pleased with the outcome of this case, and I hope that the result serves as a warning to other licences premises who believe that anti-social behaviour is acceptable.

"We are wholly committed to do all we can to make Ellesmere Port town centre a safe and vibrant place for people to enjoy. We will act robustly against those who commit acts of crime and antisocial behaviour and address premises that fail to fulfil their obligations under the Licensing Act."

Regular checks of the club will be carried out in the coming weeks to ensure the closure order is not breached.

Chf Insp Hooper added: "I urge anyone who is concerns about anti-social behaviour and alcohol related crime in their local community to contact us on 101."

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Club Xes has been closed | |by police over anti-social behaviour concerns

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 14, 2015
Words:475
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