Police investigating reports of violence at former Scampton airbase

Published on 6 February 2024, by Gainsboroughlive | No comments yet |

Several violent incidents have been reported at the former Scampton RAF base. These incidents were not caused by asylum seekers but involved alleged “‘far-right thugs”. The violence is said to have taken place between January 30 and February 4 outside the disused airbase, which could be used to house asylum seekers by April 14.

There have been a number of protests in the area with different camps set up around different entrances of the site. But there have also been reports of violence including assaults, demonstrators being forced to leave by masked men and a Dambusters flag being burnt, Lincolnshire Police said. Violence reportedly broke out in the early hours of Sunday, February 4, and campaigners claim they were attacked by around 12 men. Leader of the Save Our Scrampton campaign group, Sarah Carter, claims she and her husband were ambushed by the ‘far-right’ group after the pair set up camp at the main gate.

Speaking to Lincolnshire Live, she said: ‘On Monday (January 29) I went down to visit camp because I’d heard there had been so much friction and people arguing.

‘On the Tuesday, so many people walked away and said they’re not doing it anymore.

‘Those left who support me wanted me to come in and get the site tidied up and get its reputation tidied up so people could come and protest somewhere safe.

‘We spent a few days tidying up, taking down flags and signs.

‘At 2.20am on Sunday morning, some far-right thugs turned up to boot us out.

‘I was pushed around and I did hit the floor.

‘My legs had gone to jelly, I was trying to run away and ring the police because my husband was being attacked.

‘We got off lightly because they went down to gate eight and beat up four guys down there.

‘One of them was still in a sleeping bag when they were attacked. It was nasty.

‘We didn’t know how far they were prepared to go so we feared the worst.’

Police said a Dambusters flag was set alight between noon and 1pm last Tuesday and there were also reports of masked people arriving at the protest camps and forcing those there to leave without their belongings in the early hours of last Saturday.

Officers have appealed to anyone driving on any of the nearby roads or those who captured any footage of the reported incidents to get in touch.

On Sunday, Lincoln’s Labour MP candidate Hamish Falconer said: ‘I heard this morning that late last night far-right thugs assaulted Scampton residents including a grandmother with a heart condition to try and get control of a camp at one of the gates.

‘These people have been hanging around the gates drinking, wearing camouflage, arguing in public about who has stolen from each other, and trying to push their racism on Lincoln.

‘They know who they are and so do we. So let me say it plainly to them: you aren’t patriots or soldiers you’re racist thugs.

‘Hand yourself in to the police, take down your banners, hang your heads in shame and get out of town.”

Lincolnshire Police said in a statement: ‘It is unclear the exact times and locations these incidents are reported to have taken place or who may have been involved, so we are issuing a broad appeal asking for anyone who may have been driving along any of the roads which border the former RAF base and may have captured any footage of people at the site to get in touch.

‘We are asking anyone who drove past the site over the weekend to check any footage available to establish if anything untoward is shown and whether it has captured any offences which might help our investigations.

‘We will continue to patrol the area and respond to incidents called in by concerned members of the public as they rightly expect us to do.

‘Incidents reported to us which have required a larger policing presence are suspected to have involved a minority of protestors, many of whom are believed to be from outside of the county.

‘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.’

The officer’s mess was given listed building status by Historic England in October and the Home Office stressed that ‘heritage assets’ at the former base site would be safeguarded.

Anyone with information is asked to email NSKCID@lincs.police.uk with reference to the incidents at former RAF Scampton between January 30 and February 4.

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