Six months of violence forced police to shut Huntingdon nightclub

A MASS brawl sparked by three Level 2 bouncers ‘viciously attacking’ a reveller was the culmination of crime and disorder that forced the Huntingdon nightclub to close.

Cambridgeshire police said the nightclub, which sold pints of beer for �1.50 before 11pm, had the worst levels of serious crime, public disorder and concerns with public safety in the county.

A report to the Huntingdonshire District Council licensing sub-committee yesterday (Tuesday) showed that every night since October there had been at least one incident at the nightclub – including a paralytic woman who needed resuscitation – with three incidents on some of the nights.

The club’s owners, Darcy Hotel and Entertainment Realty, were not at the meeting.

The panel was shown CCTV footage of the club’s entrance in All Saints’ Passage, and saw a man being thrown onto the pavement and left unattended for three minutes, apparently unconscious. The footage also included several fights around the venue.

At the end of a 10-minute montage was the fight on April 22, involving around 30 party-goers and 28 police officers, which Sergeant Ed McNeil said was started by a member of the public being “viciously assaulted” by three doormen.

“We started to be concerned about this venue as far back as 2008/2009, and Level 2 has the worst rating in the county. It’s only a small venue and is open only two days a week, which shows the scale of the problem,” Sgt McNeil said. “The physical shape of the club exacerbates the problem as there is nowhere to get away if you get involved, and the poor management enabled disproportionate violence to happen.

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“The nature of the incidents outside the nightclub means at least four officers are sent to help. This means they are not able to be in other parts of the town and communities. It’s a massive drain on our already tight resources.”

On April 26, Peterborough magistrates forced the venue to close for 28 days, subject to a review by the committee.

The club’s management was given notice to vacate by HDC, which owns the property, at the end of March, after it failed to pay the rent. Repossession officers entered on April 27.

The panel revoked the club’s licence. If new owners want to reopen the club, they will have to apply for a new licence and prove they would improve public safety and reduce crime and disorder.