Riot gear worn to tackle club fracas
5:25pm Wednesday 12th February 2014 in News
POLICE were assaulted and had to use riot gear for the first time in their careers as a result of disorder outside the Brunel Rooms.
Incident logs and evidence released in advance of a Swindon Council licensing review for the club, which has now closed, shows the force are owed almost £3,000 in security costs for two all-night events at the club last year, and detail a long list of incidents of violence and breaches of the licence conditions.
The former directors have said the terms imposed on them by police had forced them to leave the club.
Jason Ranford, 27, said: “We want to draw a line under the whole issue, and will not make any further comments about the Brunel Rooms. We will not be going to the licensing review as we are giving up the licence.”
The most serious incident logged occurred after rapper Wiley failed to show up for a gig on November 3.
“Officers attended the premises at 3.03am to find a male had been bottled in the VIP area causing injury and the atmosphere was heated and hostile,” said PC Sian Kalynka, licensing officer for Swindon, in a report for the licensing committee.
“All available officers within Swindon at that time were sent to this area in order to deal with the situation at this one licensed premises.”
Two officers were dragged yards along the road in an attempt to pacify a large man, and left in a vulnerable position as they were surrounded by a group of his friends.
PC Winter was left with a broken hand after another man resisted arrest, and PS Spargo and Insp Longdon were forced to use batons and incapacitant spray to control the situation.
In the report, Insp Longdon said: “Such was the force and fury of his blind aggression I believed that if he broke free he was capable of killing another person. I sensed we were about to be overwhelmed and he would use his size and power to inflict a very serious, potentially fatal, attack.”
Further incidents included one of racial abuse on September 8, where two men exited the Brunel Rooms, one of whom dropped a knife while giving chase.
Over the course of the opening weekend, a man was arrested for three separate assaults, and on the opening night at around 2.30am disorder erupted between clubbers and security staff.
A number of incidents linked to the venue have Jason Ranford named as a suspect, including an assault for which he served a four week prison term, but most were not pursued after the victims refused to make official complaints.
Ranford strongly disputes the allegations. “No prosecutions were made against me, because there was no evidence of the incidents taking place,” he said.
Licence breaches were found to have occurred regularly by Ranford, who police claimed would insist the DJ played past opening hours to allow groups of his friends into the club who were on Pubwatch’s banned list.
The licensing panel scheduled for February 19 will no longer go ahead.
A spokesman for Swindon Council said: “The licence review has now been cancelled as the holders have surrendered their licence.”