A MAN who saw 100 police officers storm his nightclub says they were “too heavy-handed”.
Owner Richard Shea collapsed and had to be taken away in an ambulance after police raided Mayhem, in Warrior Square, Southend, on Friday night.
Clubbers were asked to leave the club and checked for drugs, while a police search team went into the club where it found some pills, suspected to be drugs, which will now be sent for testing.
Despite the massive police presence, no arrests were made in relation to the raid.
Mr Shea said: “I feel sickened they took this approach to prove a point in one of the cleanest clubs in Essex. It was very heavy handed.”
He had been at the club that evening because his son, Stevie, was holding his 21st birthday downstairs.
He said his son’s night was not only ruined, but he believes the club lost about £20,000 in takings.
Mr Shea said he felt if the police were concerned about drug-taking in any nightclub, it would make more sense to send in plain clothes officers.
He said: “I’d put 40 plain clothes people in there, caught anyone doing anything on the night, put them to one side and then stopped people from leaving the club.
“But no, they wanted to go in high profile. In the process they’ve hurt the club financially.”
Mr Shea said he had been pushed as police stormed into the club and then begun to feel unwell.
A short time later he collapsed on the pavement outside, and was taken to Southend Hospital for tests.
He visited a clinic in London to have his heart checked yesterday.
Mr Shea added: “I’m anti drug through and through, you can ask people in my circle.
“I haven’t got time for anybody who does drugs and I’ve always stipulated that, through the club, through the staff. I don’t tolerate it.”
He stressed his manager, Gary Stokes, had worked closely with police and regularly attended licensing meetings.
They have also brought in plastic bottles to reduce the risk of anyone getting hurt and have extensive CCTV coverage.
He said they had also put large shelves in the toilets so girls could take their drinks with them, rather than risk them being spiked.
Mr Shea said he had wanted to reimburse customers on the night, but hadn’t been given the opportunity.
Instead, he is offering free entry next Friday until 11pm with the first drink on him.