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Essence licence to be reviewed after 'Kingston's worst incident'
Kingston police have applied for an urgent review of the Essence nightclub’s licence following a mass brawl involving up to 30 people.
Two people were taken to hospital after the violence at the Bucklands Wharf site, at about 2am on Saturday morning.
The police’s application will be heard by councillors at a licensing sub-committee meeting tomorrow night at the Guildhall.
Chief Inspector Gary Taylor said: “It’s the biggest act of civil disobedience I’ve ever seen in Kingston.”
He said some people grabbed scaffolding and spades during the brawl, that a man was seen lying unconscious in the road and that one person fell into the river.
Richard Kay, director at the nearby Osiers Court flats said: "I should imagine everybody in the block will be delighted to hear if the licence is revoked, especially those on the ground floor.
"There's always problems down there. Since the club opened it’s had a few name changes but there's always been trouble.
"You almost get used to hearing the police sirens on a Friday and Saturday night."
Conservative councillor Andrea Craig said: “This is really quite shocking, I have to say.
“From what I have been told it sounds horrific."
The Canbury ward representative criticised Kingston Council for failing to "grasp the nettle" when dealing with troublespots in the town centre area.
She said: “Residents have completely had enough of what’s happening in the town centre.
“There is a loss of faith with the administration.”
But Kingston Council leader Liz Green said: "I think Andrea and her colleagues are very good at criticising in hindsight.
"Obviously any incident like this is regrettable, and from what I have been told it sounds like a particularly nasty one.
"Kingston Council will hold the review requested by police and I would not like to comment on what the councillors on the committee will decide."
Five people were arrested in connection with the incident.
A 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of affray and GBH.
A 27-year-old man and a 28-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of affray, another 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of class A drugs and a 33-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly and assaulting a police officer.
All have been bailed to return later this month or next month.
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