By Lotte Pegler
A Bognor Regis business will remain closed as investigations continue into pills found in a takeaway kebab.
The closure order was secured at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on January 3, and means Istanbul Grill, in High Street, must remain closed as a fast food restaurant for six weeks. It will then be reviewed.
This follows allegations by three women in their 20s who reported finding unknown pills in a kebab purchased from the takeaway after they returned home around 2am on December 29.
In reference to the closure order, district commander, Chief Inspector Jon Carter, said: “We have taken this action to protect the community while this business remains at the centre of an ongoing investigation.
“This is a concerning matter, and our enquiries are ongoing to examine and identify the tablets, and determine exactly how they came to be in the food.
“In the meantime, I would urge the public not to speculate on the circumstances, and instead allow our highly skilled officers to continue with the investigation.
“We are aware of comments circulating on social media, and I can confirm that this is not being treated as a child grooming investigation.
“The complainants are all adults, as we have previously stated.
“We are also aware of videos circulating online, which resulted in a small number of people gathering in Bognor High Street to air their views on Monday, December 30. No offences were committed. However, where we do identify any offences committed, we will take action.”
Officers attended the premises the same day the incident was reported and arrested two Bognor Regis men, aged 30 and 42, on suspicion of administering poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm. They have since been released on conditional bail until January 27, while enquiries continue.
On December 30, police enforced a 48-hour closure order under Section 76 of the Anti-Social Behaviour and Crime Prevention Act 2014, on grounds that the operation of the premises has constituted a public nuisance. An application was made to magistrates to confirm the order on January 1.
Chief Inspector Carter added: “We are continuing to work with partners including the district council, and the local community, to understand what happened and the motivations of those involved.
“However, there is nothing to suggest that any other food outlets are involved, or that there is any link with any particular section of the wider community.
“Local officers remain present in the area, and anyone with any information relevant to our investigation is encouraged to come forward.”
Information can be reported online at: sussex.police.uk or phone: 101, quoting Operation Enzo.