Monday, February 22, 2010

Plastic People under attack

Following yesterday's story about the threat to the future of the Ministry of Sound, news that another London club is in more immediate danger: Plastic People in Shoreditch.

According to a new facebook group, Keep Plastic People Alive, 'THE POLICE ARE TRYING TO SHUT DOWN PLASTIC PEOPLE. There is a notice outside the door saying there are 2 reasons why the Police want to take the license away. 1/ PREVENTION OF PUBLIC NUISANCE 2/ PREVENTION OF CRIME AND DISORDER. Plastic People have until the 11th March to appeal'. Hackney Council have apparently received an application relating to the club from the police under the Licensing Act 2003 to 'review premises on prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance basis'.

This would seem to follow on from a police/council visit in December. The Hackney Gazette (16 December 2009) reported:

'Some of Shoreditch's trendiest hotpots were rapped this week in a joint Christmas crackdown from Hackney Council and Hackney Police. A new team of officers - known as JEDI - discovered evidence of cocaine in the female toilets and DJ booth of Plastic People in Curtain Road. Seven clubbers were also turned away from Hoxton Pony in Curtain Road and Cargo in Rivington Street after testing positive for drugs whilst queuing .And officers discovered problems with health and safety and noise levels at Elbow Room on Curtain Road.

Both Plastic People and Elbow Room have said they will work with the council to improve their standards of safety. Cllr Alan Laing, cabinet member for neighbourhoods said: "Pubs and clubs in party areas like Shoreditch, have a responsibility to the community who drink in them and the people who live around them. Through our joint enforcement efforts, we are sending out a clear message that those that fail to comply with the law will not be allowed to continue pedaling a raw deal in Hackney".

There is incredulity amongst regulars about the club being singled out. As one person testified on facebook: 'I have never, ever seen any trouble at Plastic People, it has always had the soundest crowd and atmosphere, once I dropped my wallet on the floor, asked at the bar at the end of the night on the off chance someone had handed it in and a complete stranger walked over and handed it to me, still with all cards, money etc ... in it, testament to the kind of lovely people who go to Plastics. These allegations are utter bull shit! This is an amazing venue, with the best sound system in London, that supports amazing music. If Plastic People is shut down it will be a travesty'.

With the Foundry in Shoreditch now scheduled for demolition there are concerns that having done the job of making the area fashionable, clubs and bars are beginning to be displaced by gentrification.

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