Doherty A Risk To Public Order

Officials in the U.K. have banned Pete Doherty from a local festival because police believe he and his band Babyshambles are a threat to public order.

“You are talking of as many as 5,000 people in what is effectively an open field,” a police representative reportedly told the court, although the Independent says ticket sales for the August 22-24 Moonfest at Westbury are said to be nearer to 150.

The August 18 hearing may be something of a landmark case, as it’s believed to be the first time the 2003 Licensing Act has been used to stop a particular artist from performing.

The Wiltshire police applied for the order banning Doherty and Babyshambles after an intelligence officer who researched the band was disturbed by its recent gig at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

“It is very unusual for the Royal Albert Hall to have to request police assistance, and on that occasion they had to,” the representative said of a show that reportedly ended with “frenzied fans” climbing on stage. “We became concerned because the organiser did not appear to have due cognisance of all the risks.”

Lawyers acting on behalf of Wiltshire police convinced magistrates to provide a closure order for August 22, the night the act was scheduled to perform.

Moonfest organiser John Green is “livid” and has accused the local police of waging a vendetta against Doherty because he lives locally and officers “don’t want him on their patch,” according to the Guardian.

Superintendent Paul Williams denied this was true and said security was the force’s only consideration.

Green claims police offered him a deal during a pause in court proceedings to allow the night to go ahead if he agreed to spend more on security and removed Doherty from the lineup but he refused, the Guardian reported.