Glasgow & West Scotland

Police fail in bid to close Arches nightclub in Glasgow

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Police have failed in a bid to have the Arches nightclub in Glasgow shut down.

They requested a closure order from Glasgow City Council's licensing board after a female clubber was found unconscious in the venue on Saturday.

The same night, officers also recorded 26 drug and alcohol-related incidents.

The licensing board rejected the police application after a lawyer for the Arches argued that a closure order was an inappropriate measure to deal with the areas of concern.

An emergency closure order was served by Police Scotland under the Licensing Scotland Act 2005.

An advocate for the Arches said this was only appropriate in relation to disorder and not into matters of alleged drug and alcohol-related incidents.

Premises review

It was argued that these matters should be considered as part of a premises review procedure.

A premises review allows the licensing board wider scope for enforcement action which is judged against five conditions: preventing crime and disorder; securing public safety; preventing public nuisance; protecting and improving public health, and protecting children from harm.

If the licensing board decides to take action over breaches of these conditions it can either issue a written warning, vary the terms of the licence, suspend the licence or revoke it.

Councillor Bill Butler, the licensing board chairman, said: "After considering a preliminary motion from the licensee, the board was not satisfied that the closure order procedure was appropriate in this case.

"However, we recognise the serious concerns being raised by Police Scotland in relation to these premises.

"If an application is made for a review of this premises' licence, it will be prioritised by the board and considered at the earliest opportunity."

Last year the Arches announced it was raising its minimum age for admission to 21 after the suspected drug-related death of a teenage girl who fell ill there but the over 18's policy was later reinstated.

Regane MacColl, 17, died after becoming ill at the club last February. Police linked her death to an ecstasy-like "Mortal Kombat" tablet.

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