A PETITION has been launched to save a Southampton nightclub at the centre of a series of violent incidents including stabbings, a mass brawl and drugs offences.

Police say they have been called to nearly 50 incidents in just 15 months at the London Road-based nightspot Junk.

And as previously reported the club could lose its licence after officers asked for council chiefs to call time on the venue.

A Hampshire Constabulary report seen by the Echo says Junk was at the centre of a series of flashpoints, including two men being stabbed outside.

But a club boss insisted that it has made a raft of improvements and said it is “one of the safest” venues in the city.

And now supporters have launched a petition on the change.org website calling on Southampton City Council to allow the club to stay open.

It says: “Junk in Southampton has been an institution for underground dance music on the South Coast for 11 years, and it now faces the very real threat of closure.

“Please sign this petition to keep the club open and help win the fight against clubs/the clubbing community in the UK.”

So far more than 1,500 supporters have signed the document, with many posting messages praising the venue.

One wrote: “Junk is a great night club where all types of people can go and enjoy amazing tunes!

"Drugs and violence are a problem across all nightclubs within the UK and in my four years of attending nights at junk I have never witnessed these two things being any worse than in any other club.”

Previous problems at the club include 23 assaults, four drugs offences, 12 antisocial behaviour incidents and six public order offences.

The report states that police also investigated a rape allegation which was later found to be "unsubstantiated".

Officers called for Junk's licence to be revoked, or to replace the entire management team, designated premises supervisor (DPS), slash its opening hours from 4am to 2am and improve CCTV coverage, ID scanning and logging of incidents.

It continued: "With the venue currently operating under the present management, within an extremely busy Cumulative Impact area, the management are not strong enough."

But club director and DPS, Wes Leigh said management are cooperating with police added: "We have made improvements and done everything the police have asked and above and beyond.

"We are now one of the safest venues in Southampton."

He claimed someone involved in the stabbing had earlier been seen in another venue and added: "It was a horrible incident but we have done all we can.

"We need to be able to work closer with police and the council instead of them working against us."

City council licensing chairman Councillor Matt Tucker confirmed a review was under way with the public able to comment until Monday, April 11, before a hearing to declare the club's fate takes place in May.