THE boss of the security firm working at the Victorious Festival has said his staff used appropriate force in dealing with troublemakers.
Oliver Gardiner, from Portsmouth-based Vespasian Security, claimed two employees were bitten by visitors during last weekend’s festival.
It comes after a video showing security staff pulling a male to the ground and putting another in a headlock went viral on Facebook, posted by Courtney Perriman.
The clip shows two staff members attempting to control a man, while another security guard explains to the watching crowd that he had been causing disruption.
The man is then held on the ground by four staff members, before a boy is caught in a headlock and lifted away by security.
Mr Gardiner said ‘several’ groups of young people had been warned about anti-social behaviour on Saturday.
The males offered varying levels of resistance and or violence to our staff including biting two team members.Oliver Gardiner
He said the next day many of the groups had returned and started causing trouble, so one of the ring leaders was escorted from the festival site.
He said: ‘Once the team of staff had escorted the group from the site, CCTV control identified another male involved who was standing next to our team members at the gate.
‘At the same time, two male bystanders (a father and son) had been verbally abusive and threatening regarding the escort out of the earlier group who assaulted one of the team members at the gate.
‘The males offered varying levels of resistance and/or violence to our staff, including biting two team members.’
So far the video has been watched more than 1.1 million times.
Mr Gardiner added: ‘Whilst Vespasian understands that it is always distressing to witness incidents where individuals or groups are being physically restrained or removed from a location, antisocial behaviour, violence and other activities that affect families, customers and the safety of large crowds cannot be accepted and must be challenged.’
He said ‘several’ young people were given dispersal orders by police at the event.
A Victorious Festival spokesman said: ‘This has always been a family-friendly festival and when a few people are disrupting that and ruining the enjoyment of the event for the vast majority of people who are behaving well and respecting each other then we have to eject them from the event.
‘We fully support the actions of Vespasian security and expect any police investigation to show they behaved correctly. ’Victorious Festival has the lowest rates of crime for any music event of its size and we intend to keep it that way.’