No charges following ‘disturbance’ and arrest of 4 people at Duke Street tree protest camp

Police at the site Photo Alan Chapman

Four people arrested after police were called to a disturbance at the Duke Street tree protest camp in Margate yesterday (May 3) have all been released without charge.

Police were called at 12.15pm when trouble broke out after a couple, who are the site owners, turned up and confronted those at the camp who are protesting against the felling of a mature Sycamore tree on the plot to make way for a flats and retail development.

The protest camp has been at the Duke Street site for one week with campaigners wanting to save the tree and have questions answered over ditched plans for a community garden on the land.

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called at 12.15pm  to a disturbance in Duke Street, Margate. Officers attended and two men were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and a third man and one woman were arrested on suspicion of common assault.

“All four people were also arrested on suspicion of affray.”

Those arrested were the couple and two of the protesters. All were released last night. The couple’s dog had been taken in by Laura Sullivan, of the Missing Dogs and Strays Thanet group, for the duration of their questioning at Margate Police Station. He has since been reunited with his owners.


  1. There is video evidence of an assault by the owner on a protestor floating about on Facebook. The police were shown it. Typical, nothing done even with it put in front of them. Lets hope he keeps the peace now. I think it was through frustration as he is in debt to the bank and needs to get started quickly on this project. Of Course all this could have been prevented if the council had not sold the community land off for big profit.

    • I saw that video, and to play Devil’s Advocate it is an incomplete excerpt of the ruckus. It is difficult to know what really happened without seeing everything, and if the Police had made arrests just on that evidence it would almost certainly have been thrown out by the CPS.

      • I think you are on the side of the angels. Peter!
        The weapon of choice in the rentamob protesters’ armoury is no longer the inane “Wadderwewant? Wennerwewonnit?” chant.
        It’s the smartphone, wielded in the face of anyone who dares question their right to do what they want, where they want.
        It allows them to film indiscriminately and then selectively post whatever they think portrays themselves as victims.
        How the police keep their patience when confronted by such provocation is a miracle.

    • I don’t know the (alleged) details, but if the council REALLY sold off land that they weren’t suppose to then I guess the best solution for all is to buy it back.

    • Perhaps if they spent a bit less on NDA’s they’d have more money for services

  2. I will never understand people. You may be the most peaceful person, making the most peaceful protest. But if you are aware the people who own the site you are occupying are not the peaceful type. You really can not surprized that when they arrive they are pleased to see you and would rather you leave. Like it or not right or wrong the owners have permission to take the tree down. I do not know the owners but they must have mouths to feed, and bought this site in good faith. All this time wasting is costing them money.

  3. Just cut the weed down. There is nothing they can do about it.. That would solve the problem!

  4. If they were occupying my property I doubt if I would be peaceful in chucking them off. The place looks like a complete dump now and the sooner it is cleared the better!

  5. The Thanet Trees group and their supporters have such a overbearing sense of their own entitlement, using trespass and intimidation – with every other trick in the book they can think of – to force others to fit in with their dogma. I have to feel sorry for those that they pick on for not kowtowing to them – they are actually really unpleasant bullies, despite dressing their selfishness up in a cloak of environmental do-goodery.

    • A friend of mine has been chucked off their facebook page for criticizing their tone, and says it seems rather cultish.

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