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Safety fears at three Brighton nightclubs on New Year's Eve
Concerns have been raised about customer safety following a number of incidents at nightclubs on New Year’s Eve.
About a dozen police officers were forced to create a cordon outside Shooshh in King’s Road, Brighton, as up to 300 revellers tried to get into the seafront superclub before midnight on December 31.
Revolution and Boutique Club in West Street were also both asked to close early over, according to police.
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However, Boutique Club manager Alex Dempster said he decided to the close the venue himself and was not asked to by officers.
Jean Irving, head of licensing at Sussex Police, said that if officers had not intervened at Shooshh “something very serious would have happened” with people at risk of being injured in a crush.
She said: “While the crushing was going on, the night’s promoters were tweeting out calling |on more revellers to come to the club.
“They are making the money and the taxpayers of Brighton are paying for the police to look after their venue for them.”
One customer who had bought Shooshh tickets for himself and his girlfriend described the situation as “quite dangerous” and “if somebody had fallen they would have been trampled”.
Shooshh director Albie Saliba said the club was victim of a “crazy 15 minutes” but insisted it was safe inside his premises.
He said: “The mistake was to put 200 tickets on the door and put that on Facebook and Twitter; we will never put ourselves in that situation again.”
Mr Dempster, who said the club was not asked to close by the police, said: “An incident was alleged in our venue, supported by absolutely no evidence. Regardless an accused customer was handed over to the police by our security staff for them to investigate further but as far as we are aware no charges have since been brought.”
Licensing officers are now set to meet with club owners to work with them on avoiding a repeat situation.
They will be asked to have more door staff on as a minimum requirement but if they don’t cooperate a council review could see the venues lose their licence or have their serving hours reduced.
Meanwhile, East Street club Madame Geisha has closed for a rebranding and refurbishment.
It will be reopening as Dirty Blonde later in the year.
Chief Inspector Simon Nelson, Brighton and Hove Police head of operations, said: “Madame Geisha has closed voluntarily pending a new business venture in a couple of months time.
“We were discussing a number of issues with the owners and it was their decision to close and remain so until ready to open a business which offers safe and enjoyable entertainment.”
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