Sheffield club linked to double stabbing ready to 'turn a corner' with new safety measures

Sadacca secretary Olivier Tsemo and chairman Rob Cotterell.
Sadacca secretary Olivier Tsemo and chairman Rob Cotterell.
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A Sheffield community club says it is 'turning a corner' following concerns relating to a double stabbing earlier this year.

Police asked the city council to review operations at Sadacca in the Wicker following the violence in July.

The club on The Wicker.

The club on The Wicker.

One man was stabbed inside the venue during a private party, and another was stabbed outside a nearby building after Sadacca was emptied.

Two men were charged with attempted murder and police then opposed the club's plans to hold an event during Tramlines festival later that month, citing safety concerns.

But the club successfully persuaded the council's licensing committee that it had learned lessons and stepped up security, and the family event went ahead successfully.

On Tuesday this week the club was back before the council, and after agreeing to a number of conditions designed to prevent further problems, it was allowed to keep its licence.

Sadacca hosts an event during Tramlines.

Sadacca hosts an event during Tramlines.

Sadacca, short for Sheffield and District African Caribbean Community Association, now hopes to move on and carry on its work promoting integration and helping the community around the Wicker.

It has launched partnerships with groups such as Music City Foundation and Sheffield Hallam University to try to expand its reach.

Chairman Rob Cotterell said it seemed like the club was 'finally turning a corner'.

"Sadacca have been working closely with South Yorkshire Police to put measures in place to make the venue a safer place for all to visit," he said.

"However, we also felt that the measures initially imposed by the police were a little too stringent to manage the evidenced risks.

"Nonetheless Sadacca took the advice and complied well with the voluntary interim plan."

Rob said the new licence conditions were 'warmly agreed'.

He added: "The next part of our plan going forward is to present the council with our business plan, our vision and aims and objectives to secure our future at 48 Wicker, our spiritual and cultural home since 1986."

Coun David Baker, who chairs the licensing committee, said Sadacca was 'generally well run' but there had been concerns about crime prevention and child protection.

"We decided that by increasing security and ensuring better record keeping at events the community centre would be able to help prevent any further issues," he added.

"Most of the conditions we have introduced are already part of the good practice of Sadacca but by virtue of putting them in the licence the committee felt it would help stop any further incidents."

Police have been working with Sadacca since the violence in July.

Liquor licensing enforcement officer Cheryl Topham said the new conditions would keep both staff and the public safe.

"Our main priority remains the safety of everyone in South Yorkshire and we will take action where necessary to ensure licensed premises are operating safely and securely", she said.

"We have and will continue to work with our partners to remove potential threats to members of the public and improve community safety."