The Independent London Newspaper
20th September 2014

Letters

'The Den and Centro', described by police as a 'crime generator', in licence appeal

Published: 28 June, 2012
by JOSH LOEB

A WEST End nightclub that had its licence revoked is planning to appeal against the decision in the High Court.

The club in West Central Street, known as “The Den and Centro”, was described by police as a “crime generator” during a week-long hearing at Highbury Magistrates Court last month before District Judge Crane.

It was said to have been plagued by anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and violence.

Former police licensing chief Sergeant Bob Dear had previously said he thought the venue should remain open, and he appeared in court as a witness for the club.

Camden Council submitted evidence from more than 30 witnesses including Borough Commander John Sutherland. He told the court: “In almost 20 years of policing I have never come across another licensed premises that has given me such cause for disquiet over such a sustained period of time.”

Outside court Bloomsbury Association chairman Jim Murray said: “We’re obviously sorry for people who will lose their jobs as a result of this, but, as we’ve been saying for many months, with this club it’s what it attracted to the area that was the problem.”

A spokesman for the venue said current licence-holder Old World had made extensive efforts to stamp out problems arising before it took over in April 2010.

He added: “The judge made the decision based on exaggerated evidence and more than 75 families will be made unemployed because of this. When we took over 18 months ago we began a crusade to contact residents and hear their concerns. We hope to bring a judicial review of the judge’s decision.”

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