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Essence nightclub licence suspended by Kingston Council for 28 days after mass brawl
Essence nightclub’s licence has been suspended until the new year after a mass brawl broke out last weekend.
It comes ahead of a full review by Kingston Council and police calls for the licence to be taken away altogether.
Councillors put a stop on the licence for 28 days after hearing police testimony that the ferocity of the brawl – involving up to 30 people – matched that of the 2011 London riots.
James Rankin, a barrister representing Kingston police at last night’s licensing sub-committee meeting, told councillors a “manifest lack of control” was shown by staff after the fight began inside the club.
He added: “Not one telephone call came from the operators themselves. No call on the radio system for assistance.”
Police will press for Essence’s licence to be revoked completely, he said, before describing elements of the club’s clientele as “low-life”.
Chief Inspector Gary Taylor of Kingston police said some of his officers were “shaken up” by the violence on Saturday morning.
He added: “For Kingston it was a very big incident, unlike anything we have actually seen before in the town centre.
“We have mechanisms to debrief those officers.”
Essence’s barrister, Michael Bromley-Martin QC, blamed a recently-hired promoter for the club’s problems, and proposed a number of conditions in a bid to keep it open.
They included reducing its capacity from 400 to 300 and dropping promoter Trio, as well as giving police veto power over other promoters.
Council legal adviser Chris Warner said the seven proposals did not go far enough.
He added: “There may be a very real danger of future incidents taking place.”
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