Calls to dismantle Scampton protest camps after series of reported violent incidents
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Local residents and politicians have united in their call for the removal of protest camps outside the former airbase, following assaults on several campaigners by up to 12 “masked thugs”.
As the Home Office intends to accommodate up to 2,000 asylum seekers at the historic airbase starting as soon as April 14, multiple protest groups have emerged, establishing camps outside various gates of the base.
Tensions have escalated among the different protest groups in recent months, as confirmed by Lincolnshire Police, who reported various offences occurring between January 30 and February 4, including the burning of a Dambusters flag and individuals wearing masks forcibly evicting protesters at multiple gates, leaving their belongings behind.
In October last year, the police also revealed the discovery of a suspected homemade petrol bomb near one of the base’s external fence lines.
A spokesperson for the force stated: “We would encourage everyone who wishes to voice their opinions through protest – which is a right we help uphold when done within the law – to do so peacefully.
“There are a number of different protesting groups at the site, and we would ask that they be respectful towards each other, including respecting personal belongings and space.”
After sharing a report about the violence at the gate, Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Marc Jones said: “[It’s] such a shame legitimate concerns of local residents have been hijacked by all and sundry, with a very different agenda regarding Scampton.
“I am confident police will do their duty to protest and serve the community. Time this ridiculous plan was reviewed and ended by government.”
At the time of writing, it remains unclear whether anyone has been arrested in connection with the recent wave of violence. However, Lincoln Labour MP candidate Hamish Falconer has urged the perpetrators to turn themselves in and dismantle their protest camps.