Saturday 23 September 2017

Boxing event cancelled due to 'threat to life'

Police have cancelled the England Boxing Junior Championships in Portsmouth this weekend
Police have cancelled the England Boxing Junior Championships in Portsmouth this weekend

Police have cancelled the England Boxing Junior Championships in Portsmouth this weekend because of warnings of a "threat to life".

England Boxing have said that police "have told us virtually nothing beyond the fact that the threat is serious and includes a threat to life".

A statement released by England Boxing on Thursday night explained how it is hopeful of moving the Championships to Wakefield, Yorkshire.

England Boxing said that any attempt they made of still holding the event in Portsmouth "would go to court to stop us doing so".

While England Boxing have not been told the full details behind the police actions they are seeking a meeting with Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, Head of the Police, to find out further information.

England Boxing statement in full

Dear Members,

This is a communication to let you know what we are doing in light of the tragic cancellations of recent championships. 

First of all, a reminder. All the events which have been cancelled have been cancelled by the police, not England Boxing. When we discussed holding the championships in any case, it was made clear that the police would go to court to stop us doing so. So not only do we have no choice, but the police said that there exists a threat to members and our top priority must be the safety of our members.

Faced with this we want you to know that huge effort has gone into trying to find another solution. Literally hundreds of calls have been made and were being made over the Easter weekend and beyond, to all manner of institutions by England Boxing (the police, military and others), in order to try and find a safe and secure location to stage the championships. 

The Easter leave period and the short time between being told we could not hold the championships and the competition itself made this very challenging and we were not successful but we have been trying incredibly hard for a solution now for nearly ten days. We are continuing to try. If anyone on this platform wishes to suggest solutions please do. If we can find a solution via social medial so much the better.

Secondly what do we know about what lies behind the police actions? The truthful answer is very little because the police have told us virtually nothing beyond the fact that the threat is serious and includes a threat to life. What very little has been communicated to us is - we are told - highly confidential and restricted and to divulge it would not only be potentially illegal, it might also put people at risk. So, as much as we would like to know more, we know very little and what little we know is highly confidential.

We also want you to know that England Boxing's Chairman has written to Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, Head of the Police, to urgently seek a meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to find out more information that we can communicate to you, our members, and secondly to seek a joint strategy to ensure that this never happens again.

The fact that young boxers have not been able to box is a tragedy. The fact that there has been a financial loss to clubs and to families is a tragedy. The fact that anyone might want to endanger life at a boxing event is beyond our understanding and if it's true it is disgraceful. This is not of our making, it is not of your making. We are doing everything in our power to fix it with very little information to hand. We will continue to communicate what we can to you.

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