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Crane nightclub faces urgent licence review after fatal stabbing Published Date: 30/12/2022

The nightclub where a 23-year-old footballer died during a knife attack may be forced to close as an urgent request to review its licence has been scheduled.

Birmingham City Council will hold a meeting on Friday after West Midlands Police said there had been "serious management failings" at the Crane nightclub in Digbeth.

The force said Cody Fisher died during "a fight on the dancefloor" and officers who attended shortly before midnight on Boxing Day "described a scene of chaos and evidence of drug use within the premises".

One sergeant's account said the club's security guards asked officers to help them with crowd control following the stabbing, while other "oblivious" staff members were "wandering around all over the place" and began cleaning up the crime scene.

"They have started to clean the dancefloor further down from where the deceased was; officers shouted at them to stop," the sergeant said.

"While officers are doing CPR, you can see people are just wandering around in the scene freely. As soon as we had more officers on the scene they were removed and the whole dancefloor was cordoned off and the area was made sterile.

"There were hundreds of small drugs bags and nitrous oxide canisters all over the dancefloor. These include the small and the very large nitrous oxide canisters with balloons."

Licensing officers will ask for immediate measures to be implemented to ensure public safety and will examine whether the club should be stripped of its permission to sell alcohol and whether the supervisor should be removed.

Crane previously expressed condolences for Mr Fisher's family and cancelled its New Year's Eve event out of respect for them.

Responding to a review of its licence on Thursday, a spokesperson for Crane added: "An expedited review of a premises licence is normal whenever any serious crime takes place at a licensed premises, and we are cooperating fully.

"We place the highest priority on all aspects of public safety and security.

"Whilst it would be wrong for us at this stage to react to individual, anecdotal accounts of the circumstances that applied on Boxing Day, we do employ extensive and professional security procedures for all public events, and our contracted security staff are professionals who are licensed by the SIA.

"But we will of course be conducting a full and detailed review in light of this week's tragedy, as well as assisting fully with the ongoing police enquiry."

Officers said they arrested a 22-year-old man in London at around 3am on Thursday in connection with the stabbing.

He is the third person to be arrested on suspicion of murdering Mr Fisher, while four others have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Police recovered a knife from the crime scene and a post-mortem examination has confirmed that Mr Fisher died of a stab wound.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Ingram, leading the investigation, repeated the plea for anyone with information to contact police.

He said: "We now have seven people in custody and continue to build a picture of the events that led to the tragic loss of this young man's life.

"People are continuing to come forward with information, but I still want to hear from anyone who has not yet got in touch with us.

"If you have footage that we have not yet seen, or you know what may have happened in the lead-up to Boxing Day's awful events, I'd urge you to do the right thing and speak to us right now.

"We are determined to get answers and justice for Cody's friends and family, and won't stop until that happens.

"We are keeping them updated with developments as they happen, and continue to support them through this awful time."

Police arrested a 22-year-old on suspicion of murder in Birmingham city centre just after midnight on Wednesday, while a second man, aged 21, was arrested for the same offence several hours later in London.


Source: The Telegraph