Popular Northampton nightclub could have licence revoked after police warn it 'poses a serious risk to public safety'

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Police said they have lost “faith, trust and confidence in the venue's management and door team” and that the club “poses a risk to the public's safety”

A nightclub in Northampton town centre could have its licence revoked after a “series of violent incidents”, door staff having “links to criminality” and the venue “posing a serious risk to public safety”.

Elysium nightclub in Horseshoe Street, formerly Fever, will have its licence reviewed by West Northamptonshire Council at a sub-committee meeting on Wednesday (September 21).

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According to the council, the review comes following an alleged failure to wear body worn cameras; perverting the course of justice; and not promoting crime prevention and safety.

Elysium nightclub, in Horseshoe Street, will have its licence reviewed by the council on Wednesday (September 21)Elysium nightclub, in Horseshoe Street, will have its licence reviewed by the council on Wednesday (September 21)
Elysium nightclub, in Horseshoe Street, will have its licence reviewed by the council on Wednesday (September 21)

Northamptonshire Police (NP) said in a statement handed to the council they have lost “faith, trust and confidence in the venue's management and door team” and that the club “poses a risk to the public's safety”.

Elysium, described by police as a place where revellers “finish off their night”, is one of two places in the town to have a licence to stay open until 6am.

The 600-people capacity venue is owned by Simon Thomson and has been in his family for well over 20 years, according to sub-committee papers.

‘Hindering a police investigation’

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A NP officer said in a statement that Elysium tried to cover up a crime by making it look like an accident.

The incident the police are referring to happened in the early hours of Saturday June 11 where officers say a man cut the back of his head and needed 25 stitches.

Elysium staff reportedly told police that the victim 'accidentally' cracked his head open after being ejected. However, police say this was 'false information' and that the man was punched in a 'brutal, unprovoked and unjustified' manner by one of the venue's door men.

The security staff were, according to police, not wearing body worn video cameras at the time as per their licence requirements, with Elysium's head of security saying that Mr Thomson refused to buy the equipment due to cost implications.

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Police said: "NP have worked extremely hard with this venue in very much a partnership approach with Mr Thomson over many months in attempts to improve matters.

"Not only has a significantly violent incident occurred there again, it has been dealt with in a truly unprofessional and dishonest way in an attempt to avoid a police investigation and a judicial outcome as it involved a doorman employed by Elysium.

"They [Elysium] hindered a police investigation to make it look like an accident and not a crime had occurred. They failed in their duty and let the victim of this crime down in their attempts to cover up what happened."

'Series of violent incidents'

Northamptonshire Police submitted a statement to WNC's sub-committee detailing a series of significant and violent incidents at Elysium over the last 12 months.

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Police say the venue first came to its attention on October 1 2021 when a female alleged she had been sexually assaulted and the venue's security had allegedly “not intervened or detained the suspect”.

Two days later on October 3 2021, officers say a gang related violent incident happened outside the venue and escalated into surrounding streets, which took “considerable time and police resources to bring under control”.

The next incident was on the night of October 24, which saw a young male gang member stabbed at the venue resulting in “life changing injuries”, according to police,

A meeting between police and the venue was held on October 28 where it was agreed that door staff would undergo police training, but that never transpired, according to NP. Police also say they asked Elysium to voluntarily close at 4am, but that was refused by Mr Thomson.

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More violent incidents happened on November 20 and 21 2021, between 4am and 6am, say police.

Elysium came to police attention again on November 28 2021 when three females alleged they had had their drinks spiked with an unknown toxic/poisonous substance and had been hospitalised as a result.

On January 23 of this year, police say there was 30 or more people involved in disorder at a nearby takeaway in Gold Street, which included customers who had recently left Elysium.

On February 20, police say a male was arrested inside the venue having been able to enter with a small knife down his sock.

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On April 30, police say a male was stopped and searched by officers at 6.14am on the Drapery. He reportedly had a large quantity of Class A drugs on him and a large lock knife. Police say enquiries established he had gotten into Elysium with these items on him.

And on May 2 of this year, a member of the neighbourhood policing team expressed concerns about Elysium's door team being “overly familiar” with known local gang members and having “links to criminality”, according to police.

Nightclub owner responds

Elysium owner Simon Thomson responded saying the safety of hits patrons is the club’s “number one priority”.

The owner said: “Throughout its history the venue has been well renowned for bringing special guest DJs and superstar guests to Northamptonshire and always worked consistently with the police.

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“The safety of Elysium nightclub’s patrons is its number one priority and we will not tolerate those that try to undermine this. We are an active member of pub watch and the club has continued to adopt many new safety and ID methods on its own initiative.

"We are pleased to work with organisations such as street pastors and are grateful for the many letters of support that have been sent to the council. We hope that the council will recognise the efforts we make when the review is considered.”

A total of 18 letters of support for Elysium were submitted for WNC to consider at the sub-committee meeting.