A judge has reportedly ruled that the Metropolitan police should not be able to keep the identity of the undercover police officers that investigated fabric nightclub ahead of its closure a secret.
The Metropolitan police sent a request to district judge Robin McPhee, arguing that a loss of anonymity for the officers involved with Operation Lenor, which produced a report that was used heavily in the licensing hearing that saw the Farringdon venue closed, would put their safety at risk.
“If I had a power to withhold names and serial numbers of officers it would be wrong of me to exercise that power,” McPhee said. “I find no real safety implications and no real evidence that they will not attend court to give evidence.”
Islington Council’s official statement listed 11 bullet points to justify the decision to revoke fabric’s license at a hearing last month (September), with eight of them relating to Operation Lenor.
However, the undercover investigation found no hard evidence of drug taking at the Farringdon venue, instead using vague statements including those that people at fabric were “manifesting symptoms showing that they were (on drugs). This included sweating, glazed red eyes and staring into space,” and that they saw “people in the smoking area enquiring about the purchase of drugs...I believe within earshot of the security officer.”
fabric’s license appeal hearing will be heard on Friday 28th November at Highbury Magistrates Court. The Farringdon venue was forced to reduce its staff base earlier this month (October) as they await that, reverting to a smaller team after making the majority of their workers redundant,
The #savefabric campaign is also releasing 111 tracks as part of a brand-new compilation to support the fight to reopen the nightclub, which is set to drop next month on 4th November. That’s before Nina Kraviz, Slam, Craig Richards, Jamie Jones and many more all play Great Suffolk Street Warehouse at parties to raise money for fabric’s fundraiser campaign.
Rob McCallum is DJ Mag’s deputy digital editor. Follow him on Twitter here.