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Croydon nightclub could be closed permanently after gang fears

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A CROYDON nightclub could face permanent closure after police submitted a dossier linking the venue to violence.

The Roxbury has been shut since November 10, due to fears of a shooting at a promoted event where gang members were reported to be planning to gather.

Police thought a rival gang could have been plotting revenge following a death in July.

Lionel Kerr, premises licence holder at the High Street club, has accused the police of racism and said they don't want a large black venue in central Croydon. Police strenuously deny his claim.

A licensing sub-committee hearing set for today was adjourned, but Croydon Council is set to meet next week, to decide if The Roxbury can ever open again.

A number of statements have been handed to the council's licensing committee by police.

The evidence describes:

A large fight that started in the venue and spilled into the street

The head of a gang member being hit with a tripod of the dance floor

More than 500 people left queuing outside after ticket sales for an event exceed the capacity

Identified and known gang members regularly seen in or around the club since 2010

A first floor window being open during operating hours, and very loud music emanating.

In a statement dated November 28, PC Darren Rhodes said: "2012 has not been a particularly good year for The Roxbury.

"There were artists appearing on the line-up who had connections to gangs across London and were embroiled in disputes involving guns where serious threats were being made.

"I am aware that Lionel (Kerr) owes Croydon Council £70,000 in unpaid business rates, and today the landlord of the premises has repossessed the venue due to £30,000 in rent arrears."

Detective Superintendent Simon Messinger says there is strong intelligence linking The Roxbury to a gang, whose name is blanked out in the report.

He wrote: "Identified members of this group have been seen in and around the venue on a regular basis. (They) are in conflict with a number of other gangs within Croydon and other London boroughs, both north and south.

"The control of an area is vital to maintain this 'reputation' and also allows the safe environment to sell controlled drugs and commit other offences.

"When such a venue becomes associated with one group gang, this increases the risk to those patrons attending for innocent and social reasons. Rival gangs will attend in an effort to take over the territory."

Croydon nightclub could be closed permanently after gang fears


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