A BOURNEMOUTH nightclub is currently closed amid allegations it is under the control of an organised crime gang.

The Dusk Till Dawn nightclub in Old Christchurch Road was raided by police last weekend, resulting in three people being arrested for suspected drug offences.

Afterward, Dorset Police requested an urgent review of the club’s licence, alleging:

  • Their intelligence suggested the premises were under the control of an organised crime group and of people being investigated in connection with a drugs death
  • Their raid resulted in ‘numerous purchases of controlled drugs from within the premises while open’
  • Nightclub staff indicated drugs were available and there appeared to be numerous people under the influence of drugs.
  • Suspected drug misuse was seen in front of staff
  • Undercover officers spoke to people believed to be 17 and 18 years old who said they had taken drugs for the first time there.

The allegations were reported to members of the council’s licensing committee at a behind-closed-doors meeting last Tuesday.

They decided to suspend the club’s licence until a full hearing can be held on August 16.

The premises was also visited by fire officers, who were concerned about the state of the electrics, as well as defects in the fire alarm system and a lack of separation between the basement area and the rest of the club.

Southern Electric confirmed the electrics had been tampered with and the meters had been bypassed. Dorset Fire and Rescue Service consequently issued the club with a prohibition notice, which bans them from operating as a nightclub.

A closure notice is currently posted on the doorway of the club.

Steve Underhill, station manager at Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, said: “There was the potential to compromise public safety.

“The electrics were in such a state they had the potential to cause imminent risk of fire and when you look at the separation between the basement and the rest of the building, such a fire would have put people’s lives in danger.”

Licensing solicitor Philip Day, who is representing the club, said neither he nor the business owners were made aware of Tuesday’s hearing or given the opportunity to attend.

He said: “The allegations are not all accepted but we are very limited in what we can say at the moment. As and when we receive further information from the police we will review the situation.”

Steve Wright, licensing officer at the council, said: “We can confirm that the premises are closed and will remain closed until a review hearing on August 16. This is a direct result of a police investigation.”

The two men and a woman who were arrested have all been granted police bail pending further investigations.