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The Arches nightclub to close after police fears over disorder

Police Scotland raised fears over Glasgow nightclub after being called out to 213 drugs and disorder related incidents in 13 months.

The Arches, Glasgow

The controversial Arches nightclub will be shut down after police raised fears over drugs and disorder.

A meeting of Glasgow's licensing board ruled to close the nightclub element of the venue.

It can now only operate up until midnight rather than 3am, effectively ending its ability to operate as a nightclub. The change takes place immediately, a council spokesman confirmed.

The iconic Glasgow club came under fire last year after the drugs-related death of 17-year-old Regan McColl, who had been at the club.

in March, 26 people were reported for drugs and alcohol-related offences in one night. One woman was found unconscious outside the nightspot and was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

The event, featuring Clyde One DJ George Bowie, was broadcast live on radio but was cut short after police pulled the plug.

A total of 15 clubbers were reported for alleged drugs offences and a further 11 for alleged alcohol-related offences. A man was also reported to prosecutors over alleged licensing offences.

The club agreed to implement a number of measures and it remained open, but issues were raised again recently by police.

Another review of the nightclub and arts venue was held by the Licensing Board on Friday, where it was ruled that it would close down the nightclub element of the premises.

The venue's executive director Mark Anderson told The Herald: "We are obviously very disappointed with today's outcome.

"We will now have to consider our options but the impact of this decision may well result in the closure of one of Europe's most highly-regarded arts venues and a key contributor to Glasgow's night-time economy.

"It's not only a bad day for the Arches but the portents don't look good for the wider licensed trade."

A petition has started online calling for the reinstatement of the club's licence, with the organisers saying it has been set up after "months of harassment of the venue by Police Scotland, regarding apparent failures to act upon instances of drug misuse in the club as well as some alcohol-related offences".

A spokesman for Glasgow Licensing Board said: “After hearing submissions from both Police Scotland and the Arches, the board decided to vary the licence by moving the closing hour for the premises from 3am to 12 midnight, Monday to Sunday.

“The decision was made in terms of the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder, securing public safety and protecting and improving public health.”

Chief inspector Mark Sutherland from Police Scotland said: "Police Scotland is committed to keeping people safe by promoting public safety and preventing crime and disorder within and associated with licensed premises.

"In order to maintain this commitment a review of the premises licence at The Arches was prepared and submitted to the Licensing Board for their consideration.

"We recognise the decision of the Licensing Board.

"Police Scotland will continue to work in partnership with all responsible licence holders and designated premises managers across Scotland. We strive to ensure licensed premises maintain a safe environment, free from violence, disorder, drug taking and excessive levels of drunkenness – all of which can endanger people.

"Our aim is always to work closely with licence holders to uphold the law and provide a safe environment for their patrons to enjoy alcohol responsibly. Where breaches of licensing legislation occur we will take appropriate action and record and report this to the local Licensing Authority."

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