Tyne & Wear

'Drug dealing concern' bars closed over Christmas

Florita's
Image caption The bars will remain shut over the busy Christmas period

Four bars in Newcastle city centre closed by police amid drug dealing concerns will not be able to re-open until after Christmas.

Madame Koo, House of Smith and Florita's, on Collingwood Street, and The Empress, at The Side, were issued with 48-hour closure notices on Monday.

South Tyneside Magistrates' Court has now ruled that The Empress should be shut for 14 days.

A decision on the Collingwood Street bars will be made on 28 December.

Northumbria Police said: "The decision to pursue these orders was not taken lightly, but when we receive intelligence that drugs are being supplied in pubs, bars and nightclubs we have to take action."

Eleven people who were arrested on Monday on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs have now been bailed pending further enquiries.

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