POLICE are set to review security procedures in Southend’s nightspots after a teenager was stabbed during a party at the Kursaal.
The knife attack, which took place at about 1am on Saturday, left a 17-year-old with “life-changing injuries” as a result of up to 12 stab wounds. Around 200 youngsters were partying at the Kursaal at the time of the attack.
Insp Bill Potter, who heads up Southend’s local policing team, said venues should make every reasonable effort to keep weapons out. It comes after a spate of fights outside bars and clubs in the town - with police unsure whether weapons were taken inside first.
Mr Potter said: “I have asked for the licensing officers to do a review, just so we can understand how a weapon has come to be inside a venue. Obviously, we will look at the outcome of that and take any appropriate action.
“While the door staff of all the main clubs in Southend run a really excellent entry process, in the run-up to the busy summer period I would like us to review the search processes and potentially run some high profile entry procedures, just to reinforce that it isn’t worth bringing weapons in to the night time economy in Southend.”
In February, a 20-year-old man was stabbed in the stomach in Lucy Road at about 4am following a row in the street.
In September, another man was stabbed in the stomach after a night out - collapsing outside the Happidrome arcade, in Marine Parade. The attacker had been seen on CCTV visiting various bars and pubs during the evening.
Some clubs search customers on a percentage basis. It is not known if any use metal detecting devices.
Mr Potter said the suggestion that metal detecting arches - such as those normally seen at airports - could be installed is unrealistic and could be counter-productive as long queues can lead to fights.
He said: “There are handheld devices that can be used. As part of this review we will look to see what each premises has and doesn’t have to detect weapons going in to pubs and clubs.”
Mark Flewitt, Southend councillor for public protection, said: “I support Insp Potter in his ongoing review of clubs’ search procedures. At the same time, I have got sympathy with the clubs. They are there for the enjoyment of the majority, but sadly the minority commit such dreadful offences such as the one in the Kursaal.”
- Nes Kisoka, 18, of Eastern Esplanade, Southend, will appear at Basildon Crown Court on May 15 charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of a knife.