4BR has been informed that staff at the Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre have reported that they were subject to both verbal and physical abuse during the afternoon of competition at the London & Southern Counties Regional Championships on Sunday March 19th.
Details of the incidents have been brought to the attention of Regional Secretary Kevin Williams who has told 4BR that they will work in full cooperation with the venue management to try and identify those responsible, and to take appropriate action.
Speaking to 4BR, Kevin said: "We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the management and staff at the venue for more than 25 years. Their help and understanding have made the Area Championships a friendly and inclusive event.
I was dismayed and angered to hear this shocking news, and we will work with the venue management to identify those who are allegedly responsible."
It is understood that during Sunday afternoon some venue staff members were pushed aside and shouted at as people tried to gain access to the Gordon Craig Theatre without tickets. Box Office staff were also verbally abused.
Kevin added "The staff at the venue must maintain health & safety and fire regulations as well as ensuring that people have purchased tickets for the event.
It is shameful that it is understood that some people felt it was acceptable to act in such an aggressive and threatening manner.
The Regional Committee is adamant that it will impose the maximum sanctions possible on those individuals and bands that are found to have taken part in these appalling incidents."
The incident comes just a weeks after anti-social behaviour marred the end of first day of competition at the Midlands Regional Championships. Only the intervention of the Regional Secretary Lesley Bentley working with the venue management in Corby averted the second day of competition being cancelled.
The Regional Committee is adamant that it will impose the maximum sanctions possible on those individuals and bands that are found to have taken part in these appalling incidentsRegional Secretary, Kevin Williams
Kevin Williams told 4BR that with the Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre due to come under new management, he hoped that swift action will ensure that the event's reputation is not permanently tarnished.
"We are concerned that the new management might well decide not to host any more Regional Championship events as a result of these incidents. We will therefore do all we can to repair the damage, but the mindless actions of these people have put us in an incredibly difficult position."
If anyone has any information about these incidents, please contact Regional Secretary Kevin Williams in confidence at: email@example.com