POLICE had to use Captor incapacitator spray when they faced large scale public disorder outside a Teignmouth nightclub.
It is believed about 15 people were involved in Northumberland Place in the early hours of Sunday morning and police had to use the spray to protect officers who felt they were under threat of attack.
The incident went on for about 20 minutes, said Sgt Segil Zulhayir of Teigtnmouth police.
No arrests were made at the scene but Sgt Zulhayir said there would be arrests after CID officers have finished their investigation into the incident.
A police statement said: "Some of those involved had been inside Kools nightclub prior to the disorder breaking out."
Sgt Zulhayir said: "Kools is open under a temporary events notice. They are in the process of applying for a full premises license at the moment.
"We are treating this very seriously. They key is to identify all those involved.
"Various different groups had to be dispersed.
"Captor spray was used to incapacitate one large group because officers were caught up in a situation where they felt they needed to disperse a large group because they felt under threat.
"They knew they could be identified later using CCTV in that area.
"It has had an impact on the local community. We have had a lot of people who live in the area upset as a result of it, who were affected."
The spokesman said: "Teignmouth officers responded to the incident at around 2am but due to scale and numbers involved, they had serious concerns for their safety and had to deploy Captor spray.
"Response officers were deployed from Totnes to back up their colleagues in Teignmouth and were able to separate and disperse the crowd."
No injuries or damage have nso far been reported to the police as a result of this disorder.
Inspector Chris Shaw said: "This is a serious incident of disorder and we will not tolerate this behaviour.
"We want to reassure the local community that the police are investigating the matter as a priority and will be taking action against those involved. Incidents of this nature have a huge impact on the local community and it is our aim to ensure those responsible are held accountable."
Police are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen what happened in the early hours of Sunday, August 4 and ask anyone with any information to contact enquiry centre on 101 quoting crime reference number JG/13 1426 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.