Nightclub allowed to stay open after stun gun found in toilet

Faith and Harbour Inn, in Lowestoft. PHOTO: Archant

Faith and Harbour Inn, in Lowestoft. PHOTO: Archant - Credit: Archant

A nightclub has been allowed to remain open - despite a stun gun being found in a toilet.

Faith, in Lowestoft, had their premises licence reviewed after police concerns over serious crime following a spate of call outs last month.

However, after interim changes proved successful, including searching customers on entry and the replacement of an in-house security team with an external company, councillors on East Suffolk Council's licensing sub-committee yesterday (Monday, March 2) agreed to allow the nightclub to remain open.

John Corkett, of Suffolk Police's licensing unit, said: "A stun gun and a knife were in circulation within the area on February 1. At some stage, doorstaff became aware of it.

"The doorman concerned declined to make a statement which could mean evidential difficulties in charging a suspect.

"We have to have a reliance on door staff to help maintain law and order and protect customers, and we expect them to support efforts to keep people excluded if they try to enter with any prohibited items.

"Investigators have previously tried to determine if a crime has been committed but they feel they have been obstructed by doorstaff.

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"We have no wish to see it closed down and I would like to think we can draw a line under this."

Despite an initial search of the suspect failing to find a weapon, officers found the knife in his possession later in the night, while a search of the toilets he entered uncovered the stun gun, although it could not be determined how long it had been in the water.

Solicitor Robert Barley, on behalf of designated premises supervisor, Wayne Connolly, told councillors: "These premises are well run and have a good history.

"Mr Connolly is saddened and disappointed in himself for this hearing today.

"He has been a licence holder for more than 20 years and until these incidents had a good relationship with the police.

"He understands society's concern about the prevalence of knife crime and has implemented the conditions requested by the police and the council."

The nightclub must also provide a greater CCTV coverage as part of the changes to the licence, as well as checking toilet cisterns at least once every hour the nightclub is open.

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