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Friday, 30 March, 2001, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Home nightclub shut by police
One of Britain's best-known nightclubs, Home, has had its licence revoked after police found "open" drug use and dealing at the premises.
The club, in Leicester Square, London, will be closed with immediate effect.
An emergency meeting of Westminster Council on Thursday decided that the club should be shut after an undercover police operation found "open and serious Class A drug dealing and usage".
Advice and warnings to the club's managers and staff had not been heeded, according to Scotland Yard.
Chief Inspector Chris Bradford of the Metropolitan Police's clubs and vice unit, said: "We felt it was necessary to take the unusual course of action in a bid to try and eradicate this serious and open problem from the premises.
"A full investigation has been carried out by my officers and we have explored many other courses of action to avoid having to make this application.
"Our actions in this case should act as a warning to other premises where there is a serious drug problem - we are prepared to take every step in our power to solve the problem."
The club opened in September 1999 and has hosted a string of celebrity parties. It has a capacity of more than 2,000 and was heralded as one of the largest in the country when it opened.
Carl Powell, Westminster's director of planning and transportation, said: "There was clear evidence of open drug-dealing at the club and the committee was duty-bound to revoke the public entertainment licence in the interests of public safety.
"The decision to revoke the licence was not taken lightly. It was based on unequivocal police evidence and police concern about drug dealers who prey on vulnerable young people.
"The city council will continue to work closely with the police and the entertainment industry to try and stamp out such illegal, dangerous and anti-social activity."
The nightclub's managers also organise the Homelands dance music festival, which is due to take place near Winchester, Hampshire, on 26 May.
There are Home clubs in Sydney and New York as well as London. The London club recently played host to Essential Relief, a charity Comic Relief event featuring many big-name DJs.