Kensington & ChelseaNews

Kensington nightclub licence suspended after two fights in one night

By Jacob Phillips, Local Democracy Reporter

A nightclub has had its licence suspended after three men were allegedly stabbed and police officers were assaulted.

Two large fights broke out outside Jako Nightclub as suspected gang members fought with knives and belts in High Street Kensington on January 9.

Three people were stabbed outside the venue at around 4am before a fight broke out between around 15 people on a nearby street.

A number of people were arrested for allegedly attacking police officers and damaging a police car.

Four people were arrested, including one of the stabbing victims – they have all since been released on bail.

Jako agreed to temporarily close the next day and its licence has now been suspended by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) until a proper investigation can take place.

The Met Police raised concerns at an RBKC licensing hearing, alleging that suspected gang members were visiting the club.

Two of the stab victims had been inside the club before a fight broke out and four suspects were also inside the nightclub.

All three of the men stabbed have now been released from hospital.

RBKC’s licensing committee heard how fights have regularly broken out at the venue since it reopened after the pandemic.

Although the nightclub was mainly used for business functions before the lockdown it now runs five to six promoted events each month and the police suspect these events are attended by gang members.

Nightclub owner Syed Gilani said: “We have had a different type of clientèle coming to the venue.

“People have been preloading drinks before getting to the venue.”

Fights had previously broken out at the venue and there were 30 people involved in a fight near the venue on August 28 and a man was bottled.

On September 17, a man had to be taken to St Mary’s Hospital following a fight at the club.

On the night of the most recent fight, it was claimed that Jako staff let in 60 party-goers after 1am despite being forbidden from letting people in after that time.

RBKC’s licensing committee decided to suspend the venue’s licence until a full licensing hearing on February 8.

Licensing Committee chair, councillor Sof McVeigh said: “Our decision is to suspend the license with immediate effect. The committee is in agreement with the police that the premises are associated with serious crime.

“The committee is concerned about the use of promoted events and the clientèle it attracted with possible gang links.”

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