Security staff help police bring brawlers under control

A picture posted online of the scene outside the Corn Exchange, Devizes, early on Sunday morning

A picture posted online of the scene outside the Corn Exchange, Devizes, early on Sunday morning

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Up to 20 people were involved in a disturbance outside The Corn Exchange, Devizes, minutes after the night club in its cellar bar closed its doors on Saturday night.

Police say a large group gathered in the Market Place at about 3am on Sunday but only some of them got involved in fights which broke out.

Security staff from the Corn Exchange helped police bring the brawlers under control but police say they are still investigating whether or not the troublemakers had been in the night club earlier in the night.

Police arrested two people at the scene one of whom was suspected of affray. Another person was served with a notice to leave the area.

Insp Matthew Armstrong, of Devizes police, said: “At about 3am on Sunday morning officers were sent to a report of a fight in Devizes Market Place.

"It was reported a large number of people were in the area, estimates anything up to 20 but unconfirmed.

"There is no clear indication the group had been inside the Corn Exchange however our enquiries continue.”

One young woman innocently caught up in the fight was pushed to the ground and suffered cuts and grazes to her face.

Insp Armstrong said the town’s other late night venue The Crown in New Park Street had recently made positive changes to its admittance police and how the pub is operated.

But he said: “There is no indication that these changes have resulted in more people going to The Corn Exchange at a later time.”

The Crown underwent a major revamp of its decoration and kitchen just before Christmas and no longer allows people to enter after midnight.

Pub landlord Jim Lynch said: “We have made some alterations to our hours to change our demographic. We will be looking at this again in the near future.”

Insp Armstrong said: “We continue to monitor events occurring in the night time economy very closely and we will work with businesses and partners to ensure we instances of disorder are reduced.”

Carole Berry, of Devizes Town Council, said nothing had been recorded in the Corn Exchange security book for Saturday night.

She said: “We do not accept this incident has anything to do with the Corn Exchange.”

She denied the town council had a duty of care for any incidents that might occur once the night club had closed and said security was in the hands of a private company.

She said that as nothing was recorded in the security book she did not think it necessary to speak to the security officers who were on duty.

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