An east London nightclub has had its licence revoked after failing to crack down on violence and other criminal offences.
Since February 2020, officers from the Central East Basic Command Unit have been meeting regularly with the management of Cargo in Rivington Street, Shoreditch, following a rise in incidents in the club and in the immediate area outside.
The incidents, which include thefts, minor assaults, large scale disorder and on some occasions, serious violence, make up a disproportionately large amount of the crime, disorder and public nuisance taking place in the local area. Despite repeated efforts to engage with the venue’s management and to work with staff to raise standards, officers have continued to see high levels of crime and disorder.
In August 2021, for example, in the first month after the night time economy fully reopened following lockdown, there were 20 thefts and eight violent incidents. A venue with a similar capacity in the same area saw no reports of thefts and just two incidents of violence. The same pattern has been repeated consistently.
As a result, dedicated policing plans have had to be put in place to ensure that outbreaks of disorder are able to be dealt with swiftly and with minimal risk to local residents and the public.
At times, more than 20 police officers have had to be positioned in the vicinity of the venue. At closing time, specialist public order officers have had to be deployed from elsewhere in London to control crowds leaving the club. This comes at significant cost to the Met and means those resources are unable to be deployed to address other policing priorities. No such resources are required for any other single venue in the area.
Having engaged extensively with the venue’s management over many months without seeing any genuine improvement, officers from the Central East Command Unit’s licensing team applied to Hackney Council to have Cargo’s licence reviewed.
At a hearing of the council’s Licensing Sub-Committee on Tuesday, 14 December, a decision was taken to revoke the licence.
Inspector Andy Durrant, from the Central East Basic Command Unit, said: “The management of Cargo nightclub did not address key concerns frequently raised by the police relating to high levels of crime and disorder in and around their venue. The committee’s decision is the result of those repeated failings.
“There is no greater responsibility for police than the safety of the public. We thank the residents of Hackney and Tower Hamlets who supported our application to have this licence reviewed and took the time to attend the hearing.
“Police licensing officers will continue to engage with Cargo’s management team, and licensees across Hackney and Tower Hamlets, in an effort to secure a much improved environment for people living and working in the area.”
Chief Inspector Lucky Singh, who leads on the night time economy in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said: “We are extremely proud of the night time economy here in Shoreditch and we want it to be the safest and most secure in London. We want all visitors to have a safe and positive experience and we work closely with venues to achieve this. We will always provide assistance and guidance in the first instance and our officers will go on investing a lot of time in an effort to help venues to improve.
“However, where they continue to fail to play their part in delivering improvements on key issues like safety and security, it is right that we take robust action as we did in the case of Cargo. I’m confident that the committee’s decision will be welcome news for local residents, neighbouring businesses and other visitors to the area who have suffered for too long because of the continued crime and disorder in and around this particular venue.”