Bognor Regis kebab investigation - Takeaway must remain closed after ‘unknown pills’ found in food

A closure order has been secured against a takeaway business in Bognor Regis after three women discovered ‘unknown pills’ in their kebab.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 2:49 pm
Police at the Istanbul Grill in Bognor

According to Sussex Police, the order was secured at Worthing Magistrates’ Court today (Friday, January 3) and means Istanbul Grill in High Street must remain closed as a fast food restaurant for six weeks, at which point it will be reviewed.

It 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 Sunday, December 29. 

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.

Police at the Istanbul Grill in Bognor

“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 30 December. No offences were committed, however where we do identify any offences committed, we will take action.”

On the day the incident was reported, officers attended the premises and arrested two local 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 Monday. December 30, police enforced a 48-hour Closure Order under Section 76 of the Anti-Social Behaviour & Crime Prevention Act 2014, on grounds that the operation of the premises has constituted a public nuisance.

Police said this was the direct result of the incident currently being investigated, and an application was made to magistrates to confirm the order on Wednesday. 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.”