Club has license revoked following drug search

Public Life Pic: Irene Baque de Puig

The story of the Public Life night club in Spitalfields has come to an end, with its license being revoked by the council.

Police closed the club, based at 82a Commercial Street, on December 19 last year after conducting a search of the premises that resulted in 13 arrests. The pub has also now had its license revoked by Tower Hamlets Council.

The manager, licensee and a man believed at the time to be the owner were arrested for drugs and licensing offences. All three were bailed pending further analysis.

It has since emerged that the third man is not the owner, but he is said to have had a verbal agreement with the leaseholder to develop the club.

A further 10 people were arrested for either possession of controlled drugs or possession with intent to supply.

Tower Hamlets police also found that the club was holding more people than legally permitted. The building was originally a public toilet and is only licensed to hold 60 people, including staff.

Spitalfields Community Group started a campaign to close Public Life in 2007.

They launched a petition to have Tower Hamlets Council review the club’s licence, citing issues such as offensive behaviour, including openly buying drugs from dealers, drinking in the street and “screaming at all times of the day and night”.

EastLondonLines talked to a local café worker, who did not want to be named, who works opposite Public Life. He said: “During the weekends I would find vomit and urine on the stairs of the church – there are always people causing a lot of trouble.”

PC Cruickshank of the Tower Hamlets police Licensing Unit told EastLondonLines: “The Licensing Unit takes very seriously any allegations of drug use in licensed premises. The good work done by Spitalfields and Banglatown [Safer Neighbourhood Teams] has resulted in the licence being revoked. This sends a clear message that both the police and their… partners will continue to make licensed venues both a safe and enjoyable place to visit.”

The manager of Public Life declined to comment, and its owner was unavailable.

One Response

  1. David McLean November 23, 2012

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