Romford nightclub labelled a hotspot for crime against women

Atik nightclub in Romford has been labelled as one of the borough’s hotspots for crimes against women, according to local police.

Chief superintendent Paul Trevers, head of policing for Havering, Redbridge and Barking & Dagenham, told Havering councillors earlier this week that police were called to the venue ten times in the last year.

Across all three boroughs he polices, he said there were 733 reports of violence against women in that period, adding that South Street – home to both Atik and The Goose – was an area of particular concern.

Police map showing violence against women hotspots in Romford town centre

A spokesperson from Atik Romford said the club’s management feel “singled out” by his remarks, as the ten incidents reflect just 0.01 per cent of their footfall.

Ch Sup Trevers told Havering’s crime and disorder sub-committee: “The offences are stretching along South Street, including at Atik nightclub, which I’m sure you are all aware of the problems we’ve been having with that.

“We’ve had a reallocation of resources into the centre and certainly are trying to nip this in the bud, we’ve had 12 officers on double-pay overtime to prevent offending behaviour.

“Much of the offending is in premises, it’s very difficult as we can’t police inside bars, we mainly police public spaces, but we’ve had some ideas around licensing.”

In the year leading up to January, there were ten reported incidents at Atik and four at The Goose.

A Met spokesperson said the crimes reported inside Atik include one allegation of rape, three sexual assaults and five physical assaults.

In one case a woman reported feeling a sharp pain in her upper back that she believed was an attempt to inject her, although no puncture wound was found by the club’s medic.

The alleged rape is still under investigation, while no further action has been taken following the other reports, due either to a lack of evidence or because the victims chose not to prosecute.

An Atik spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The safety of our guests is our number one priority and we don’t tolerate any kind of violence or anti-social behaviour in our club.

“We also work closely with the police and local authorities to make sure that we provide a fun and safe night out.

“We are by far the largest late night venue in the region, let alone the town, with a capacity of 2,000 on trading nights, so it is unfair to compare us with much smaller venues.

“It’s important that the positive work we are doing is fairly presented and that statistics like these are not misinterpreted.

“Anyone seen behaving inappropriately will be detained and handed over to the police and we will provide CCTV from the many cameras operating inside and outside our venue as evidence where required.”

The spokesperson said the club has a strict door policy, with ID scanners and metal detector arches on entry. They added that staff are a visible presence inside, with onsite medics and a quiet room for guests to be looked after.

In total, the Met recorded 47 offences against women across the town centre, on South Street, Western Road and St Edwards Way.

In December last year Havering Council launched a team of night marshals, following reports of women being approached by strangers.

The marshals are tasked with helping people get home safely when leaving Romford’s venues, intervening if people seem to be in a difficult situation or reporting antisocial behaviour.

The Goose was approached for comment.

Advertisement

Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter