Gossip! Garlands shut down after class A drugs ‘dealt openly’

140 officers raided the club last night

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Two men have been arrested after a gay club was raided during a popular student night.

140 police officers descended on Garlands, Eberle Street, and shut the club down after it was found class A drugs were being “dealt openly” in there.

The raid happened shortly after midnight and two men aged 19 and 20 were arrested at the scene on suspicion of possession and supply of controlled drugs.

Punters were told to stay in the club while police carried out searches.

One officer took over the microphone and said: “You have been detained here while officers carry out a search of the premises until we are satisfied that there are no people in possession of controlled drugs.”

A thorough search of the three storey club also found large quantities of drugs on the premises.

The Liverpool Echo reported around 300 students were ushered into the street as police carried out searches.

They were chanting “We’re on drugs” and “I want my fiver back”.

This morning, Merseyside Police have made a formal application for a closure order after months of investigations into supply of drugs in the bar.

Chief Supt Jon Ward, said: “Sadly, we have been given no option but to take positive action at this premises this evening following an extensive operation.

“Over the last few months, officers have found that Class A drugs and other substances were being openly dealt within the premises. It is clear this establishment didn’t adhere to the same high standards as other licensed premises in the city.

“In Liverpool North we have a drugs test on arrest policy for crimes of violence and disorder in the city centre, and analysis of our data shows that an average of 40 per cent of those arrested for disorder, or violence, tested positive for cocaine.

“Merseyside Police will not tolerate the open dealing and use of drugs at night time venues in our city. We will visibly and robustly confront those who commit these types of offences.”

He added: “This is not a victimless crime. Drug dealers are exploiting young, vulnerable people and selling them illegal drugs.

“In some instances those who have brought drugs such as GBL (which is actually an alloy wheel cleaner) have required hospital treatment and we are fortunate that there have been no fatalities.

“With four universities based in the city, many young people who are away from home for the first time find themselves enjoying the night life the city has to offer.

“We will be working with universities in the city in the coming days to warn students about the dangers that drugs and chemicals can have, particularly if mixed with alcohol, or other substances.

“We want these young people to enjoy their experience of Liverpool and don’t want them to fall prey to unscrupulous drug dealers, who are only concerned with making a fast buck.”