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Home   Medway   News   Article

Police investigate racial abuse at Love Music Hate Racism music festival at Fort Amherst in Chatham

10 June 2014
by Lynn Cox
Police have confirmed they are investigating allegations of people being racially abused at the Love Music Hate Racism festival. 
 
As exclusively reported yesterday, eight people were arrested after a mass brawl broke out at the end of the multicultural festival on Sunday night. 
 
The festival, which had proved a hit for music lovers at the weekend, was marred at the end when a group of men started fighting outside the venue.
The free festival is in its eighth year and aims to create a national movement against racism and fascism through music

The free festival is in its eighth year and aims to create a national movement against racism and fascism through music

 
It is held annually to make a stand against racism and aims to bring people from different cultures together to enjoy music.
 
Police were called to the event at Fort Amherst, in Chatham, at about 8.55pm after reports lots of people were fighting in Dock Road.
 
A Medway Police spokesman said when officers arrived on the scene, the fighting had stopped and the people responsible were thought to have left.
 
Spyderbyte entertain the crowds at the festival on Saturday

Spyderbyte entertain the crowds at the festival on Saturday

 
A 20 year-old man was treated by ambulance crews for swelling and redness to his head and is thought to have suffered an eye injury.
 
As police made inquiries, one man was arrested of suspicion of assaulting a police officer and committing a public order offence.
 
Police said there was a very large group of people heading towards Chatham town centre when officers arrived.
 
It is understood an officer was also injured and suffered scratches and bruising during the fracas.
 
The police spokesman also said another man reportedly tried to smash the window of a police vehicle.
 
A 17-year-old girl was also injured during the incident and police said the area was cleared by 10.15pm. 
 
However, since the eight were arrested, police have now revealed they are investigating two of those detained for racial abuse. 
 
The Love Music, Hate Racism festival had been enjoyed by families before trouble flared at the end

The Love Music, Hate Racism festival had been enjoyed by families before trouble flared at the end

 
Many of those who were arrested have been bailed pending further inquiries, two others have been given fixed penalty notices and one has been charged. 
 
These include: A 19-year-old woman from London was arrested following a report a 17-year-old girl was assaulted, she was given a fixed penalty notice.
 
A 23 year-old man from Gillingham was arrested on suspicion of affray after a man was allegedly seen throwing punches. He was also give a fixed penalty notice. 
 
A 19-year-old man, from Chatham, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. John Cooper, 19, of High Street, Chatham, was later charged with the offence and will appear before magistrates in Medway on August 4. 
 
Three people were arrested in connection with an alleged fight:
  • A 25 year-old man, of no fixed address, was arrested on suspicion of affray.
  • A 25 year-old man, from Chatham, was arrested on suspicion of affray and assault.
  • A 23 year-old man, from Chatham, was arrested on suspicion of affray and an offence under the Public Order Act.
  • All three men have been bailed until August 12 pending further inquiries. 
Two people were arrested following a report of people being racially abusive, a 30 year-old man from Chatham, was been arrested during the early hours of Monday morning.
 
He has been bailed until July 3, pending further inquiries.
 
"We are disappointed that the acts of a few individuals upon leaving the venue have distracted from the very positive weekend that about 5,000 people have enjoyed..." - festival organisers
Another man also arrested following reports he was racially abusive was a 28 year-old also from Chatham.
 
He was arrested on suspicion of affray and the public order offence and was also arrested during the early hours of Monday morning. 
 
He too has been bailed pending further inquiries until July 3.
 
In a joint statement, Fort Amherst and Love Music Hate Racism organisers said: "We are disappointed that the acts of a few individuals upon leaving the venue have distracted from the very positive weekend that about 5,000 people have enjoyed.
 
"We are grateful for the assistance of Kent Police and will be reviewing how to make further improvements for the 2015 event."
 
The usually family-friendly event, now in its eighth year, moved to the historic Fort Amherst in Chatham from The Command House pub on the riverside this year.
 
And on Saturday 2,000 visitors - the biggest crowd on a single day - went along to see the musicians perform.

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