The nightclub where footballer Cody Fisher was killed in a knife attack on Boxing Day will remain closed for good after Birmingham City Council permanently removed its operating licence.
West Midlands Police told councillors in evidence today that the Birmingham club’s ongoing operation posed “terrifying risks” to patrons, amid “blatant” and widespread drug use and “inadequate” security measures, which had also allowed a knife to enter the venue.
West Midlands Police previously said there had been “serious management failings” at the Crane venue.
Officers responded to the fatal stabbing of Mr Fisher, 23, in Digbeth on Boxing Day.
The club’s licence had been suspended for 28 days after an interim meeting in December, but a Birmingham City Council licencing committee ordered the licence to be revoked today after an application by the police force.
The council also continued the existing suspension first handed down on 30 December 2022, meaning the club cannot reopen while any appeal against the decision by its operator and licence-holder Digital Arts Media Ltd is considered.
A previous police report documented how a knife alleged to have been used in the attack on Mr Fisher was found on the dancefloor of the venue.
The report described how officers found a “scene of chaos” and “evidence of drug use”, while security and club staff were “oblivious” and “started to clean up the dancefloor” while CPR was still being performed on Mr Fisher.
In a verbal summary of police evidence to the committee, Gary Grant, a barrister representing the force, said there was an “inadequate search regime” which not only allowed a knife inside the club but also drugs, with “blatant” use of illicit substances leading to three people needing treatment for an “overdose of one drug or another”.
One female patient who was carried out to an ambulance was said to be “dribbling… and barely breathing” before she was taken to hospital.
Mr Grant said: “Within just over three months, this venue is here facing a summary review, triggered by an individual being murdered inside the club.
“That, in itself, gives rise to rather terrifying risks involved in the operation of this venue.
“On Boxing Day, Cody Fisher was tragically killed inside the venue and in addition, when the police investigated, they discovered what can only be described as blatant and widespread drug use being unchallenged inside the premises.”
He said there was also evidence of use and supply of nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, and “hundreds of discarded drug bags, containing white powder” were found on the dance floor.
“The licence-holder, we say, failed to uphold the highest standards of management operation of this venue,” said Mr Grant.
Three men aged between 18 and 22 have been charged with Mr Fisher’s murder. They have been remanded into custody awaiting trial, which is set to be held in July.