Norfolk

Star Wars and Doctor Who fans clash at Norwich convention

Stormtroopers
Image caption Police were called following an argument between two rival groups of sci-fi fans at the event in Norwich

Police were called to a science fiction convention after an argument between two rival groups of fans.

Trouble flared at the fourth Norwich Sci-Fi and Film Convention at the University of East Anglia, organised by Norwich Star Wars Club.

Police were called after members of the rival Norwich Sci-Fi club arrived to get autographs from two Doctor Who actors at the event on Sunday.

Norfolk Police confirmed officers attended and spoke to both parties.

A spokesman said they had been called to reports of a man being assaulted at the convention.

'Rivalry and disputes'

"After a lengthy investigation, talking to witnesses and reviewing good CCTV footage, it was confirmed that there was no assault," the spokesman said.

"The two rival groups were spoken to and advised to keep out of each other's way."

Jim Poole, treasurer of Norwich Sci-Fi Club, said there was a history of rivalry and disputes between the two clubs, which both hold their own conventions in the city.

He said he had attended Sunday's event with another club member to get the autographs of actors Graham Cole and Jeremy Bulloch for a Doctor Who diary to be auctioned for charity.

Mr Poole said he was wearing a club top and his fellow member was dressed as the fifth Doctor, as played by Peter Davison.

Image caption Jim Poole said there was a history of disputes between the clubs

He said once inside the hall, he received verbal abuse from a member of the rival club and called the police.

'Sad and pathetic'

"I was put in a police car. We were both interviewed by the police and told to stay away from each other," he said.

Mr Poole said two other members of his club, one dressed as the 10th Doctor and the other as Judge Dredd, had waited outside the venue.

"This wasn't a fight between Star Wars fans and Doctor Who fans with lightsabers and sonic screwdrivers drawn," he said.

"It's a bit sad and pathetic. We're all in the same boat. We're not in competition.

"We'd like to extend the hand of friendship."

Mr Poole said his club was considering having uniformed security guards at its own Norwich Sci-Fi Convention in September in case of further trouble.

Dominic Warner, secretary of Norwich Star Wars Club, said: "It's been blown up as if it was a fight. There was no fighting."

He acknowledged there had been disputes between club members in the past, but said: "There is no bad feeling between the two clubs. We have never interfered with them.

"It does sound comical. People that dress up in costume are labelled geeks and some people laugh at us, and this just makes it even more so."

He said the two clubs were having discussions about a meeting to resolve their differences.

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