Police oppose biker show over fears of Hells Angel retaliation
Police are opposing a licence application for a festival because they fear people could use the event to exact revenge for the death of Hells Angel Gerard Tobin.
Derbyshire Police believe the Rock and Blues Custom Show would present the most "significant opportunity for high-profile retaliation" for Mr Tobin's murder on the M40 last August.
The force said the seven men charged in connection with his killing were thought to have links with members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club and that the show is organised by or on behalf of the club.
About 15,000 are expected to attend the event, which is planned to take place in Walton-on-Trent from July 24-27. Police submitted a detailed objection to the festival to licensing authority South Derbyshire District Council "based on the firm belief that... the public safety and crime and disorder licensing objectives will not be met".
It would the first time the event has been held in Walton-on-Trent, having been held in Pentrich, Derbyshire, for several years previously. Bands such as Hawkwind, The Stranglers and Big Country have all headlined previous shows.
Assistant Chief Constable Peter Goodman said: "Given the potential risks, we do not believe that the event organisers can adequately manage or police the event so as to ensure public safety either.
"We did consider the possibility of placing conditions on the licence to manage the risks to public safety, but based on the evidence which has now come to light, we believe there are no conditions which could be placed upon the licence which would, in the opinion of Derbyshire Constabulary, ensure the public would be safe.
"We do recognise the right of law-abiding members of the public to congregate and enjoy gatherings but the force has a duty to take action where there is evidence that illegal activity may take place and public safety is threatened."