Sheffield social club allowed to host event during Tramlines despite concern over recent stabbing

Sadacca secretary Olivier Tsemo and chairman Rob Cotterell.
Sadacca secretary Olivier Tsemo and chairman Rob Cotterell.
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A Sheffield social club linked to a double stabbing will be able to host an event during Tramlines despite police concerns.

The Sheffield and District African Caribbean Community Association - known as Sadacca - was this afternoon granted a licence by the city council to open its building on the Wicker to the public on July 22 and 23.

Sadacca on the Wicker

Sadacca on the Wicker

The group told members of the licensing committee they hoped the family-friendly event, which will run from midday to 8pm on both days, would be the start of a new direction for an area often blighted by crime.

Police urged councillors not to approve the licence, raising concerns about the handling of a birthday party on July 2. A brawl that started in the bar area and spilled onto the street ended up with two men being stabbed.

Two men have since been charged with attempted murder.

South Yorkshire Police solicitor James Ketteringham gave various reasons why the force did not want Sadacca's event to go ahead.

He questioned why police were not called after the violence on July 2, and why security had not searched people for weapons.

He queried an apparent error on the licence application form, which carried the wrong times for the new event, and accused Sadacca's committee of making up security measures 'on the hoof'.

And he warned against testing new measures during the Tramlines weekend, when police resources were already stretched.

But the committee was reassured that lessons had been learned and Sadacca would put appropriate measures in place for the event during Tramlines. The club has agreed to follow a police action plan - although its club licence will be reviewed by the council at a later date.

Speaking for Sadacca, Winston Hazel said the aim of the upcoming event - although independent of Tramlines - was to include the many international communities on the Wicker in the festival weekend.

Winston is director of the Music City Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that hopes to take over the running of Tramlines in 2018.
He said Sadacca had applied for a licence for a street event during Tramlines last year but was turned down, so opted for indoors this year.

"There are many things the police are having to consider with a festival that's a flagship event for the city," he said.

"Sadacca is trying to give the international community a sense of inclusion within that environment."

And Aaron Keith Stewart, a Grammy winner as part of Sounds of Blackness, spoke as one of three new Sadacca patrons - alongside boxers Anthony Joshua and Johnny Nelson.

He said there had been issues but security measures were being put in place.

Approving the licence, committee chairman Coun Josie Paszek said she was sure that there were 'lessons learned'.

"Hopefully by the time we get to this time next year, we could be looking at something totally different."

Sadacca chairman Rob Cotterell said he was pleased councillors had 'listened to all the reasonable arguments and made a reasonable judgement'.

Sadacca is holding a fundraiser for itself and the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire with pay-as-you-feel food and entertainment this evening.