Royal Navy sailors ‘were involved in mass seaside brawl’ caught on camera phones as Easter weekend turned violent

  • Investigators have pieced together chaotic scenes and accounts from Saturday 
  • Police confirmed navy personnel and locals were involved in the choatic brawl
  • It was initially reported that 100 people were involved but it was between 10 – 12

Navy personnel and locals are believed to have taken place in a mass brawl in Plymouth which was captured in shocking footage, as the police launch a public appeal to identify them.

Investigators have pieced together the chaotic scenes and accounts of Saturday evening’s disorder at the Hoe, near to Smeaton’s Tower, which resulted in cameraphone footage being shared on social media.

It also sparked a swathe of criticism of young people who sought to soak up the sun and sink a few drinks.

Investigators have pieced together the chaotic scenes and accounts of Saturday evening’s disorder at the Hoe, near to Smeaton’s Tower

Detective Inspector Andy Hodges said it was understandable that members of the public were disgusted with the outbreak of violence

Det Insp Hodges said the picture was initially very confusing, with people first claiming they witnessed a mass brawl involving around 100 people

Several police vehicles attended the Hoe following a number of calls about a large fight breaking out between a number of young men, which investigators have later confirmed involved not only locals but service personnel believed to be from HMS Drake – the naval base in Davenport.

Detective Inspector Andy Hodges said it was understandable that members of the public were disgusted with the outbreak of violence on one of the city’s most iconic sights and he said police were treating the matter seriously.

He said: ‘We’ve examined bodyworn footage from the first officers on the scene and we are aware that there is footage from mobile phones doing the rounds on social media.

‘We are very keen for people to forward this footage to us so that we can attempt to identify all those involved.

‘We know that there was two isolated incidents which took place on Saturday night which were unconnected. The main one, on the grass area by Smeaton’s Tower and another by the Royal Navy Memorial involving a younger group.’

Det Insp Hodges said the picture was initially very confusing, with people first claiming they witnessed a mass brawl involving around 100 people.

However, inquiries have now narrowed down the incident to one involving between 10 and 12 young men, and a total of eight crimes of assault.

Inquiries have now narrowed down the incident to one involving between 10 and 12 young men, and a total of eight crimes of assault

Several police vehicles attended the Hoe following a number of calls about a large fight breaking out between a number of young men

He said: ‘We are looking at assaults at the level of actual bodily harm, with some quite serious injuries, including lacerations.

‘However, we are very much reliant on witness accounts and video footage to determine exactly who was involved.

‘This incident is being take very seriously by police because we recognise that the Hoe is a important public landmark for Plymouth and we want people to feel completely safe attending it at any time.

‘This behaviour is absolutely not acceptable in the city.’

While he accepts that not everyone involved who may have been a victim has been will to come forward and make a formal complaint to police, Det Insp Hodges said police were still very keen to identify those responsible.

He said: ‘We are looking at all avenues to identify those involved and, if appropriate, we will seek to secure prosecutions against those responsible.

‘The investigation is ongoing and if we are able to secure video footage and images of the disorder we will consider using them to make a public appeal to identify suspects.

‘If those involved wish to avoid seeing themselves in the media, they may consider coming forward now and identifying themselves with an account of what took place on Saturday night.

‘There were a lot of people on the Hoe on Saturday night, the majority in small groups across the entire green area and the majority of whom had no involvement in this disorder. 

‘However, there was a small percentage who have let the city down and it is these people we are investigating.

‘If you have footage I would urge you to reconsider sharing it on social media but instead to forward it to investigators as soon as possible.’

If you have any information about the incidents on the Hoe on Saturday night we would strongly urge you to come forward, call police on 101, email [email protected] or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting crime reference number CR/26162/21.

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