Lunch time assault sprees push up youth crime figures

YOUNG people are turning against each other in a series of violent attacks during school dinner breaks in a Somerset village. Cheddar police have found that youth assault usually happens between midday and 2pm, when youths are on their lunch breaks. Ser

YOUNG people are turning against each other in a series of violent attacks during school dinner breaks in a Somerset village. Cheddar police have found that youth assault usually happens between midday and 2pm, when youths are on their lunch breaks. Sergeant Pete Yensen of Cheddar police station said: "There is no doubt we have had youth problems in the area. They are assaulting each other. "Around 16-18 per cent of victims of violent assaults in Somerset are youths, and that figure is definitely reflected locally."He said: "I would like to work more with the schools in the area, and I will be contacting them very soon." The statement reflects findings by the Crime and Reduction Disorder Partnership (CRDP) which showed the main driver of violence was youths at 27 per cent.In a CRDP research report it was said: "Most violence involves young people on weekdays between 3pm and 5pm. This is associated with the end of the school day. "Victims tended to be around 14-years-old. There were also strong links to bullying, criminal damage, anti-social behaviour and robbery." PC Ian Bartlett currently runs a police surgery at Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar to try and target the problem. Children can come to him with problems, or teachers can advise him to talk to certain pupils. Sgt Yensen added: "There was a time when playground incidents went unreported, but now the police have an obligation to deal with them."We have to work with the schools if we are going to tackle this problem."Police services are now working with the youth services through 'locality teams' to develop anti-bullying strategies and restorative justice within schools.


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