Vue Cinemas pulls gang film Blue Story from venues after fighting breaks out in Birmingham

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Sejal Karia

Vue Cinemas has pulled a gang film from its venues as a police chief described disturbances ahead of a viewing as possibly “the worst thing” some officers had seen.

Blue Story will no longer be shown at any of its 91 outlets in the UK and Ireland after seven police officers were injured on Saturday at Star City in Birmingham.

The film's director Andrew Onwubolu, known as Rapman, has said the story is about "love not violence" and said he hopes the blame is placed on the individuals and not the film itself.

Five teenagers were arrested after the trouble – reportedly involving youths with machetes and lasting 90 minutes – including a 13-year-old girl.

Asked where the incident ranked compared with other reports of disorder, Chief Superintendent Steve Graham Graham said: “It’s always hard to gauge these sorts of things – but what I will say is incidents like last night are rare.

“As for some officers who were there last night, it may be the worst thing they have ever seen.

“The way in which our officers responded last night meant that it was dealt with safely and moderately quickly.

“Ninety minutes might seem like a long time but the reason we did that was that we weren’t heavy-handed, we were proportionate, and we did need to make sure we distinguished between the ordinary members of the public who were there to enjoy themselves and some of those there who were intent on disorder.”

A dispersal order was issued to the group of about 100 people.

A 13-year-old girl, a girl and a boy, both aged 14, and a 19-year-old man were held on suspicion of assaulting police.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police.West Midlands Police said they would be making further arrests on Sunday or Monday.

Asked if he was concerned about the ages of those involved, Mr Graham said: “It is concerning, there’s no point pretending otherwise.

“That’s why we’ve got plans in place, starting from first thing on Monday morning, where we’ll be sending neighbourhood policing officers into schools around Birmingham to try and find out why.

“We know that Birmingham isn’t unusual in this. Let’s not pretend that knife crime or violence in the under 25s is rare or is just isolated around Birmingham.

“There are no short-term fixes to this, so we’re prepared and we’re in this for the long run and we’re going to work with schools and other partners to prevent youth violence becoming an increasing problem.”

Police were called to reports of people with machetes at the complex. Credit: PA

Mr Graham asked any people who saw or filmed the incident at Star City or knew any of those involved in the disorder to come forward.

Blue Story focuses on two friends from different south London postcodes, on rival sides of a street war.

It is rated 15 for very strong language, strong violence, threat, sex, and drug misuse.

Mr Onwubolu said on Instagram: "Sending love to all those involved in yesterday's violence at Star City in Birmingham.

"It's truly unfortunate that a small group of people can ruin things for everybody. Bluestory is a film about love not violence.

"There were also a few incidents earlier this year with the release of The Joker, it's always unfortunate, but I hope that the blame is placed with the individuals and not an indictment of the film itself.

"I pray that we can all learn to live with love and treat each other with tolerance and respect."

A Vue spokesman said: "We can confirm a decision was made to remove the film.

"The safety and welfare of our customers and staff is always our first priority."

West Midlands Police said that they did not recommend the film was removed.

Mr Graham said: “We’ve made no recommendations to Vue at all.

“If they choose to continue showing it, that’s a matter for them.”