POLICE have launched a review of safety procedures at a hotel after a sexual assault and drug taking was said to have taken place at an organised rave.
Officers are reviewing arrangements at the Skylark Hotel in Aviation Way, Southend, after a string of incidents were reported.
Yesterday the Echo told how a woman had allegedly been sexually assaulted while at Saturday’s rave, which attracted up to 2,000 people.
Now it’s emerged a 17-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man were arrested at the scene for possession of drugs, which police believe to be cocaine, while four people reported their mobile phones were stolen from their bags which had been unzipped.
Insp Jeff Appleby from Rochford neighbourhood policing team, said: “There have been a number of events at the venue which we have raised concerns about. They are not serious enough to close the premises, but they are in terms of the conditions on the licence and the aspects around how the events are run.
“We are investigating to see if there is any breach of the licence.
“Security on the night seemed very switched on and I am reasonably convinced they have done everything they can. It’s whether the managing director has put things in place to prevent this. He is the one who sets out the event management plan for them to work from.
“Normally we have a problem with noise complaints from residents as well. This time we didn’t get any noise complaints.”
Police previously threatened the venue with a licence review, but found there were some discrepancies over what their conditions were, and made amendments.
Loretta Orrow, 53, of Avro Road, Rochford, said: “You can’t sit outside when they have their parties. It is continuous thump, thump, thump, all evening. It’s quite annoying. I feel sorry for the people who live really near.”
Owner Andreas Stavrinides, 64, said: “We are cooperating with police. As for the drugs offences, it was brought to my attention there were people at the door with drugs and we called the police.
“The phone thefts are a negligence issue. People are careless in such situations.”
The two men arrested for possession of cocaine have been bailed until September 9.