Following a meeting at Lewes District Council, The Trek nightclub has had its licence suspended from midday on Friday (23 September).
On Tuesday (September 20), following an incident of serious violence and disorder at the Blatchington Road club, which left a member of door security with potentially life changing injuries, Sussex Police applied to Lewes District Council for an immediate suspension of the club’s licence.
Using powers under Section 53A Licensing Act 2003, which requires the Licensing Authority to make a decision within 48 hours following the polices’ submission, the case was heard on Thursday afternoon (September 22). The councillors decided to suspend the licence of the Trek.
The club will now remain closed until a full review hearing is heard in October.
Jean Irving, Head of Sussex Police licensing and public safety said, “Following an outbreak of violence at the Trek, where a member of the security team received grievous bodily harm injuries from a customer at the premises, we took the unusual step of submitting an application for a summary review of the premises licence to the licensing authority.
“This was not an isolated incident, with the severity of the violent incidents and excessive drunkenness related to the Trek progressively increasing.
“About six weeks ago, myself, other officers and a representative of Maria Caulfield MP met with residents and heard their horrifying stories. These included being forced to sleep in their bathrooms at the back of their houses to avoid the noise of fighting, shouting and swearing keeping them awake. They told us of customers of the Trek defecating on their doorsteps and them living in fear for their own safety. This is completely unacceptable.”
“Following an incident on September 11, where officers dealt with 15 to 20 people fighting in the street, we decided to take very decisive action against the club to keep people safe. We are very grateful to the committee for sharing our concerns and, after hearing the evidence, deciding to suspend the licence of the club for the next few weeks.
“I telephoned one of the residents to relay the result of the hearing and he said ‘that is just amazing. We’re relieved as the violence has dramatically escalated this year and has at times been very frightening, frequently waking up residents and young children in the early hours. We are thankful to police for their action in this’.”
Chief Inspector Rob Leet said, “Enforcement action like this is always a last resort for us. However, where we are unable to obtain the co-operation of others and where the quality of life of residents is affected to such an extent, we have little other option.
“Whilst we are pleased that the licensing committee shared our concerns about The Trek, it is regrettable that we had to take this route in the first place and that residents and security staff have had to endure the torrid time they have.”