Rampage brawl in Colchester ‘could not have been prevented’

Colchester High Street

Colchester High Street - Credit: Su Anderson

A review of licensing in Colchester town centre following a mass brawl in the High Street has found the incident an “isolated” event.

Extra police had to be drafted from across Essex to deal with several fights which broke out after the Rampage event finished at Liquid nightclub in the town on October 22.

A review conducted by Essex Police with Colchester Borough Council’s licensing team following the event found the event promoter did not provide buses promised to take people away from the venue after the party, despite it being in the event plan.

The attendees, who were predominantly from outside of Essex, were bussed into Colchester and taken straight to Liquid for the event – and the venue was praised for voluntarily employing extra door staff to deal with the expected numbers as well has drawing up a risk assessment.

Tim Young, borough councillor for licensing and community safety, said: “It is important for us to review our processes when an incident happens, but it is clear, after investigation, everything possible was done in advance to try to prevent disorder on this occasion.

“This was an isolated, one off event and it is not a true reflection of Colchester’s night time economy – with the majority of weekends passing without significant incident.

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“The promoter clearly did not deliver what was agreed in advance, and efforts will be made to spread the word to ensure that other venues do not fall foul of such unsafe and unprofessional events.”

Although neither the council nor police can ban promoters, both said they will use their ongoing relationship with license holders to “actively discourage” them from hosting such events, with any who do so potentially putting their license at risk.

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The majority of venues have confirmed they would not wish to be associated with such events going forward, while Liquid has confirmed it will not be running any further events with this promoter, in Colchester or nationally.

A Liquid Colchester spokesman said: “Liquid Colchester is a well-run, professional club and we do not tolerate anti-social behaviour of any kind. We can confirm we will not be holding any further events with this promoter.”

The University of Essex also said it is against such events and confirmed the Rampage event was not advertised at the university and it did not get involved in ticket sales.

Four London men in their early 20s, arrested in connection with the disorder, are on police bail until early January.

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