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Hackney Wick club Shapes could lose licence over alleged rape at private sex party

PUBLISHED: 10:35 07 July 2016

The Shapes nightclub in Wallace Road, Hackney (Picture: Vikki Lince)

The Shapes nightclub in Wallace Road, Hackney (Picture: Vikki Lince)

Archant

An underground nightclub in Hackney Wick could lose its licence over an alleged rape at a private sex party.

Shapes in Wallis Road hosts regular dance music nights and private events – despite now only having permission to act as a storage unit.

And police have called a town hall meeting today after launching an investigation into reports of a rape at an “arty sexy party” hosted by promoters Kinky Salon in March.

The venue strongly denies any crime took place at the event and say security had no reports of any sexual assault.

Licensing officer Sgt Guy Hicks has called for the review on the grounds of public safety and crime prevention – referring in his report to the alleged assault and his frustration at trying to obtain CCTV footage from the night.

“Several requests were made to the venue for their CCTV,” he claimed. “While these requests were not refused, [licenceholder] Seb Glover appeared to make attempts to delay police access to the CCTV.”

He said only with the “threat of a warrant” was the investigating officer able to get the hard drive containing the footage.

He also alleges the venue was in breach of its licence by having the cameras on a seven-day loop rather than a month-long one.

Mr Glover denies any attempts to delay handing over the camera footage.

He said: “Upon receipt of the appropriate request from from the investigating officer, the CCTV was immediately released.

“Up until that point the investigating officer had not formally requested the footage, following the standard operating procedures. Any release of CCTV must be given in accordance with the Data Protection Act.”

At a separate town hall meeting concerning a Temporary Event Notice last month, he said of the alleged rape: “The premises did not believe, based on its own internal information, that any such crime had been committed.

“Furthermore, the security company made conspicuous notes of all matters arising on the night and did not in any way note any allegation of a sexual assault.”

Public health officers have supported the review, as have licensing staff, who say noise complaints about the venue have created a breach of its agreement. Shapes will appeal should it lose its licence, meaning the club will stay open for events.

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